Michael Douglas Backtracks On HPV Remark

Michael Douglas Backtracks On HPV Remark

Michael Douglas emerged from his Manhattan apartment building and straight into a firestorm.

A reporter asked, "How does Catherine feel about your latest revelation?"

Douglas had no response.

A short time later, he arrived at the American Cancer Society event where he was being honored and used his acceptance speech to backpedal.

"I simply, to a reporter, tried to give a little public service announcement about HPV, a virus that can cause oral cancer," said Douglas.

Meanwhile, Douglas's publicist Allen Burry continues to deny that the actor said his throat cancer was caused by oral sex, saying, "He wants to make it very clear he never said that was the particular cause of his particular cancer."

But London's Guardian newspaper is standing by its report, saying: "The Guardian firmly denies this charge of misrepresentation."

To prove it, they released an audio recording of the interview where Douglas said: "Without getting too specific, this particular cancer is caused by something called HPV, which actually comes about from (deleted sexual reference)."

Douglas is clearly embarrassed by the discomfort the scandal is causing his wife. There's speculation that Catherine Zeta Jones is livid. She was not at  Monday night's Cancer Society event.

Sherri Shepherd said on The View, "I think it still puts his wife in an incredibly awkward position." 

In today's New York Post, columnist Andrea Peyser calls on Douglas to: "shut your mouth" and writes that Catherine is likely, "humiliated, devastated and hunting for a divorce lawyer."

And Douglas' ex-wife, Diandra, has come forward to make it clear that he did not get HPV from her. The couple divorced in 2000. They were married for 23 years.

Douglas's interview with the Guardian newspaper proved a tempting target for the late night comics.

Conan O'Brien joked, "The interview appears in the journal of overcompensating for having just played Liberace."