The 82-year-old Boogie Nights actor spoke out regarding his strange moment in a Thursday, March 22, interview with USA Today.
“It didn’t come out like that. I don’t know what the hell I said,” Reynolds told the newspaper. “But I got so [hacked] off at people being [hacked] off at me for hurting Kotb.”
The clarification comes after Reynolds took 53-year-old Kotb by surprise when he told her that he was “so proud of you for not having your lips larger” during his Thursday, March 15, appearance on NBC’s morning show.
Though Kotb hasn’t addressed the comment, the Gunsmoke alum revealed that he tried to make things right following the mishap by sending her a note. “I never, ever meant to hurt her,” he told USA Today. “I think she’s the best at doing what she does. And that laugh is to die for.”
As previously reported, Reynolds — who is currently promoting his new film The Last Movie Star — also opened up to Kotb about his five-year on-and-off again relationship with Sally Field. Though their romance came to and end more than 30 years ago, Reynolds admitted that the 71-year-old actress is still the love of his life.
“Well, she was 7 when I fell in love with her. She stayed 7 for about 11 years. I would say Sally … Yes, Sally Field,” he revealed to Kotb at the time. “She was — well, she is still, [the love of my life].”