George Clooney has long been the target of rumors that he is gay, but the actor has said that denying them would be unfair to his close gay friends.
"I think it's funny," Clooney told The Advocate magazine of the rumors. "But the last thing you'll ever see me do is jump up and down, saying, 'These are lies!' That would be unfair and unkind to my good friends in the gay community. I'm not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing. My private life is private, and I'm very happy in it. Who does it hurt if someone thinks I'm gay? I'll be long dead and there will still be people who say I was gay. I don't give a [expletive]."
Clooney won the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for his role in the film "The Descendants."
Though the 50-year-old actor has yet to play an openly gay character, he joked to Barbara Walters in 2006 that he played Batman as gay in the 1997 film, "Batman & Robin" and voiced a gay dog in an episode of "South Park," which aired the same year.
When asked if he would consider taking on a gay character, Clooney said he would definitely be open to the right role.
"There are a bunch of interesting stories out there, but I just haven't found a screenplay with a gay subject that felt right for me as something that I could direct or act in." Clooney said. "I'm certainly not avoiding it. Whether it's about being gay or it just happens to have a gay character, if it's a great screenplay, let's go do it." Clooney was nominated for an Oscar for Actor in a Leading Role at Sunday's Academy Awards for his work in "The Descendants." French actor Jean Dujardin of "The Artist" went home with the award (See a full list of Oscar winners).
Clooney is close friends with fellow Oscar-nominee Brad Pitt, who has claimed in the past that he and his partner Angelina Jolie will not get married until all Americans have the right to get married.
"Brad has also joked that he's not getting married until I can legally marry my partner," Clooney told The Advocate. "He's been funny about it, because he knows that the best and most effective way to end marriage inequality is to point out the ridiculousness of it. Gay marriage doesn't affect anyone else or change the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. It's not about singling out one group and giving them special rights; it's about giving everybody the same rights... Although the Catholic Church didn't teach us those things, that's how I was raised."
The magazine pressed Clooney to talk about which men he found attractive and the actor said that he felt his "Ides of March" co-star got robbed in People's Sexiest Man Alive poll this year and of "Shame" star Michael Fassbender, Clooney quipped, "Well, c'mon. Every guy who saw that movie was like, 'Jesus Christ,' at the exact same time."
Though Clooney refuses to deny rumors of his sexuality, he has been open with his affection for his girlfriend, former WWE wrestler, Stacy Keibler.
Clooney and Keibler, 32, first stepped out in public together around September 2011. They have recently attended major celebrity events together, including the Palms Springs International Festival, the 2012 Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards. Keibler has also been photographed hiking with his dog, Einstein.
Keibler left the WWE around 2005 and then competed on the ABC series "Dancing With The Stars," which last year featured Clooney's ex-girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis.
Clooney was married to actress Talia Balsam between 1989 and 1993. Last year, Clooney said that he had no intention to wed again.
Clooney can be seen next in the 3D thriller "Gravity," which stars fellow Oscar winner Sandra Bullock as a survivor of a botched space mission to repair the Hubble telescope. Her character tries to return to Earth and reunite with her daughter. "Gravity" is directed by Alfonso Cuaron and is set for release in November.