Coronavirus: Sam Smith responds to backlash over 'quarantine meltdown' photos

British singer Sam Smith has addressed the controversy caused by a series of photos shared on Instagram captioned: "Stages of a quarantine meltdown". 

Smith, who uses non-binary pronouns 'they/them', was widely criticised for the photos, in which they comically cried outside their home. 

Broadcaster Piers Morgan was one of the many that took issue with the post, tweeting an article about the photos with the caption: "FFS. I can't take any more of this celebrity attention-seeking bullshit.

"Get a grip, the lot of you. This is a war, not an Instagram story op." 

Comedian Ricky Gervais also took aim at celebrities who were complaining about being stuck in their "mansions with swimming pools". 

Speaking to Heart FM, Smith admitted the since-deleted post was badly-timed, but insisted they "didn't mean any malice by it at all". 

"It was six weeks ago I posted a picture and everyone else was posting pictures. It was probably bad timing of me, but I use my social media as if it’s just my friends on it," Smith explained. 

Coronavirus: Sam Smith responds to backlash over 'quarantine meltdown' photos
Photo credit: Instagram/Sam Smith

"I posted with my humour and stuff, but it just didn't get picked up very well, but I didn’t mean any malice by it at all.

"You know me, I'm always sharing all of my feelings all the time and trying to be as human as possible but sometimes maybe people can read it wrongly.  [I] wasn't really meaning it in a malicious or nasty way, I was just trying to be myself."

Smith recently shared with Kiwi-born radio host Zane Lowe they believed they had contracted COVID-19, but hadn't been tested. 

"I didn't get tested but I know I had it," they said last week. 

"I'm just going to assume that I did because everything I've read completely pointed to that. So yeah, I think I definitely had it."

Smith's sister started exhibiting the same symptoms soon after the 27-year-old Grammy winner fell ill, so the pair self-quarantined for three weeks.