Former first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said the need to seek more privacy in the wake of internet rumours was “part of the reason” for her resignation.
Ms Sturgeon surprisingly resigned as leader of the SNP in February, citing the funeral of independence activist Allan Angus as the moment which cemented her decision.
But the former leader has told a new BBC Scotland podcast that online gossip about her had been “part of the reason” behind the decision.
She said: “I’m not naive, I’m not of the view that I will step down one day and be completely anonymous the next day, I understand the realities of what I have done and I’ll still be in Parliament, but I want to have a bit more privacy.
“I want to have a bit more anonymity and I just want to protect some of what people take for granted in their lives that I’ve forgotten to have.”
Among the claims she dismissed in the podcast were that she is a “secret lesbian” and had an extra-marital relationship with a female French diplomat, with the pair buying a house from tennis star Andy Murray’s mother Judy as a love nest.
Other rumours spread about Ms Sturgeon claim she has a global property portfolio and has a super injunction in place to hide the truth.
“I read accounts of my life on social media and I think, ‘You know, it is so much more glamorous sounding and so much more exciting’,” she said.
She was replaced as First Minister this week by Humza Yousaf.