Michael Douglas had the internet all abuzz Monday (June 3) when he seemingly said in an interview with The Guardian that his throat cancer was caused by HPV (human papillomavirus, which he said one contracts from cunnilingus.
Now Douglas’ rep has clarified what the actor meant in his interview, saying in a statement, “He did not say cunninlingus was the cause of his cancer. He didn’t specifically name a cause.”
Then later, at the American Cancer Society’s 100-year anniversary celebration where Douglas received the first-ever Marvin Hamlisch award, Douglas attempted to clarify his remarks further, saying, “I never expected to become a poster boy for head and neck cancer. But, if after what started out as
trying to answer a couple of questions about the suspected sources of
this disease results in opening up discussion and furthering public
awareness, then I’ll stand by that.”
“Head and neck cancer can be caused by many things including HPV, smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, genes,
environment and stress,” Douglas continues. “I do not know what caused my
cancer. If I did I’d have a Nobel Prize. I do know that I am here today
because of incredible advances in cancer research and treatment. Early
awareness is a key factor. If this episode contributes to public
awareness all the better.”
Meanwhile, Guardian interviewer Xan Brooks tells “Access Hollywood” that he stands by his original story.
“The impression I had is that he was talking specifically about his own
cancer. He was responding to a question of mine about his lifestyle and
the question was, did he feel he’d overloaded his system with too much
drinking, too much smoking back in his earlier years,” says Brooks. “And [Douglas’] answer was that, no, because his particular cancer, this particular cancer was caused by the HPV virus.”
“I very much took it to mean he was talking about himself and his own
ailments,” Brooks adds. “My impression is that he was talking
specifically about his own cancer.”
What do you think, readers? Do you see how there was perhaps some confusion as to what exactly Douglas was referring to?