Lewis Bloor has admitted he and Marnie Simpson did speak with one another before entering Celebrity Big Brother 2016.
However he has insisted that the romance is genuine and the pair were essentially "perfect strangers" in the house.
Chatting after his eviction last night, Lewis responded to claims that his showmance with Marnie was planned before the show.
Pictures of the pair hanging out together ahead of launch night seemed to add weight to the suggestion, but Lewis says these were misleading.
"I was dating someone and me and one of my friends had gone from one party to another and there was some pap pictures of me and Marnie getting in a cab one time," he said of the pictures in question.
Lewis went on: "However, there was eight, nine, ten people around us and the media shows a square - what they don't show is the 3D image of what's going on.
"And I'd spoken to people previously about what had happened and I'm glad to say that I trust Marnie full-heartedly because in that situation of seeing her with a group of boys and with a group of girls, she was very, very good - she behaved herself impeccably."
The former TOWIE star continued (via DigitalSpy): "And we had spoken previously but not very much. Compared to the time we spent together in that house we might as well have been perfect strangers.
"And it is absolutely right for everyone to question our relationship because we question it ourselves - this is not normal, this is something special and I am very excited for what the future holds. So feel free to doubt, feel free to question but to be honest no-one else's opinion matters but hers and if she's happy with the person that I am inside then so am I."
Describing his romance with Marnie as "something very special", Lewis concluded: "No matter what happens on the outside, she has made the best experience of my life ten times better than it ever could have been and I will always love that girl."
Celebrity Big Brother continues nightly on Channel 5.