Paris Hilton issued yet another apology on Thursday for homophobic remarks she made earlier this month that were leaked this week by Radar Online. In comments recorded by a cab driver while Hilton was attending fashion week in New York on September 7, the reality TV staple referred to gay men as “disgusting” and said “most of them probably have AIDS.”
The observations ignited a firestorm and Hilton issued a statement on Thursday to GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) in which she took responsibility for her rant. “I am so sorry and so upset that I caused pain to my gay friends, fans and their families,” she said in the statement posted on GLAAD’s website. “Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know.”
Hilton, 31, said in her apology that she has always been a huge supporter of the gay community and explained that the recording was of a private conversation she was having with a gay friend and that it was not intended to represent her feelings about the larger gay community.
“It is the last thing that I would ever want to do and I cannot put into words how much I wish I could take back every word,” she said. “HIV/AIDS can hurt anyone, gay and straight, men and women. It’s something I take very seriously and should not have been thrown around in conversation … It is so wrong when people bully or put down others for being gay. No one should have to go through that. Again, I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart and I feel absolutely horrible. I hope that everyone can accept my apology and know that it is not who I am or how I feel in any way.”
In the recording, Hilton told her friend, “Ewww! Gay guys are the horniest people in the world,” in response to his explanation about how the hook-up app Grindr works. “They’re disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS … I would be so scared if I were a gay guy. You’ll like, die of AIDS.”
Thursday’s statement was the second attempt at damage control by Hilton, whose rep earlier released a statement clarifying her remarks, explaining that they were intended to “express that it is dangerous for anyone to have unprotected sex that could lead to a life threatening disease.”