Calvin Harris has said he acted with the “wrong instinct” when he hit back at ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift last year in a Twitter rant.

The Scottish DJ and record producer made headlines when he became involved in a rift over his hit song with Rihanna This Is What You Came For after it came to light that Swift – who he had recently split from – had co-written the track.

He has now shared his feelings about his outburst, which he said was largely down to him protecting himself.

Calvin HarrisCalvin Harris (Joe Giddens/PA)

Harris, 33, told GQ magazine: “It was completely the wrong instinct.

“I was protecting what I see as my one talent in the world being belittled. It felt like things were piling on top of me and that was when I snapped.”

He pauses. “It’s very difficult when something I consider so personal plays out very publicly.”

Harris and US pop star Swift, 27, were in a high-profile relationship for 15 months until last June.

Harris added: “The aftermath of the relationship was way more heavily publicised than the relationship itself.

“When we were together, we were very careful for it not to be a media circus. She respected my feelings in that sense.”

Taylor Swift Taylor Swift (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The chart-topping DJ said that he is “not good at being a celebrity”.

“But when it ended, all hell broke loose,” he added.

“Now I see that Twitter thing as a result of me succumbing to pressure. It took me a minute to realise that none of that matters. I’m a positive guy.

“For both of us it was the wrong situation. It clearly wasn’t right, so it ended, but all of the stuff that happened afterwards… ”

Harris retaliated after a spokesman for Swift confirmed in July that she had been involved in the single, at the same time she was enjoying a new highly-publicised romance with actor Tom Hiddleston.

The Herald:

Harris had written on Twitter: “I figure if you’re happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do.”

He also referenced her apparent feud with fellow singer Katy Perry, adding: “I know you’re off tour and you need someone new to try and bury like Katy ETC but I’m not that guy, sorry. I won’t allow it.”

Harris has just released his latest album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1.