Michael Douglas' Oral Sex Cancer Claim: The Guardian Denies Misquoting

Celebrity News Jun. 4, 2013 AT 1:30PM
Michael Douglas' Oral Sex Cancer Claim: The Guardian Denies Misquoting Credit: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

Misquoted or misspoken? U.K.'s The Guardian is standing by the interview they published on Monday, June 3, in which Michael Douglas talked about his battle with throat cancer and allegedly claimed it was caused via oral sex and the contraction of HPV.

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Soon after the interview was released, Douglas's rep, Allen Burry, issued a statement to The Wrap claiming the 68-year-old actor was misquoted. "He did not say cunnilingus was the cause of his cancer," Burry said. "He didn't specifically name a cause."

But The Guardian claims that Douglas did, in fact, say his cancer was caused by oral sex, and they released the audio of the interview to prove it.

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In a statement posted on their website June 3, the newspaper wrote, "The Guardian firmly denies this charge of misrepresentation. Mr. Burry was not present at the Guardian's interview with Michael Douglas; the only two people present were Mr. Douglas and the Guardian writer, Xan Brooks. Here is the audio file of the relevant part of the interview, along with a verbatim transcript of that section."

In the transcript, interviewer Brooks asked, "Do you feel, in hindsight, that you overloaded your system? Overloaded your system with drugs, smoking, drink?"

"No. No," Douglas replied. "Ah, without getting too specific, this particular cancer is caused by something called HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus."

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The Behind the Candelabra actor, married to Catherine Zeta-Jones for 13 years, battled stage-four throat cancer in 2010. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation, and told The Guardian, "With this kind of cancer, 95 percent of the time it doesn't come back."

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