Leona Lewis has spoken out following what she describes as "snide bewilderment" in public circles about her choice of boyfriend.
The singer has been dating Lou Al-Chamaa, who is an electrician, since she was 17 years old.
"It does make me angry. Because he's a great person. And it doesn't matter what you do in life, what your job is, where you come from," said Leona of the negative reaction.
The singer, whose success on The X Factor launched her into worldwide fame, tries to remain as grounded as possible.
"I do feel safe with people that really know me, who know who I am," says the star, who still lives where she grew up in Hackney, east London.
Photo: ę Rex Features