Gillian Anderson has said she had a gay relationship when she was a student but that it was not a life-altering experience because she knew she was still attracted to men.

The ex-The X Files actress, now 43, was discussing her past relationships in the April issue of Out magazine when she made the revelation.

She told the publication: “I was in a relationship with a girl for a long time when I was in high school.

“You know, I’m old enough that I can talk about that.”

The twice-divorced mother of three added: “If I had thought I was 100 per cent gay, would it have been a difference experience for me?”

“Would it have been a bigger deal if shame had been attached to it and all those things that become huge life-altering issues for youngsters in that situation?”

“It’s possible that my attitude around it came, on some level, from knowing that I still liked boys.”