Paris Hilton has come under fire over a leaked recording in which she is heard saying homosexual men are "disgusting" and that "most of them probably have AIDS," while her rep says the heiress and reality star was not talking about "all gays" and was rather commenting about the dangers of unprotected sex.
Hilton made her comments earlier this during a conversation with a male friend inside a taxi cab in New York City, where she had traveled to attend Fashion Week events. She can be heard in a 50-second, expletive-filled audio recording posted on the gossip website RadarOnline on Thursday. The gossip website said the cab driver recorded the exchange and that Hilton's friend is an openly gay model.
Her rep said in a statement carried by CNN that the 31-year-old did not intend to "make any derogatory comments about all gays" and that her comments "were to express that it is dangerous for anyone to have unprotected sex that could lead to a life threatening disease."
He talks about the mobile app Grindr, whose mission statement is to "Find gay, bi, curious guys for free near you."
"Say I log into Grindr, someone that's on Grindr can be in that building and it tells you all the locations of where they are and you can be like, 'Yo, you wanna (expletive)?' and he might be on like, the sixth floor," he tells her.
"Ewww. Eww. To get (expletive)?" Hilton answers. "Gay guys are the horniest people in the world. They're disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS. I'd be so scared if I was a gay guy. You'll like, die of AIDS."
Hilton was blasted over her comments on her Facebook page by scores of angry readers. Some called her "homophobic" and one said: "So ashamed of u now!!! used to love u to bits!!!"
Her rep said in the statement that the audio clip was part of a longer dialogue.
"The conversation became heated, after a close gay friend told her in a cab ride, a story about a gay man who has AIDS and is knowingly having unprotected sex," the statement said. "He also discussed a website that encourages random sex by gay men with strangers. As she was being shown the website, her comments were in reference to those people promoting themselves on the site."
The website of gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who is openly gay, quoted a source close to Hilton as saying the audio recording was taken out of context. Hilton was riding in the cab with several gay friends, who were discussing one particular individual who has AIDS and has unprotected sex, the website reported.
"Paris Hilton is a huge supporter of the gay community and would never purposefully make any negative statements about anyone's sexual orientation," the rep told CNN.
Hilton and her mother had in 2005 served as co-grand marshals of West Hollywood's annual gay pride parade.
A day before the recording was released, Hilton posting a photo of herself with Adam Lambert, an "American Idol" alum who is openly gay. He reTweeted her.
"Love this pic of @AdamLambert & I during #NYFashionWeek!" she said on her website. "He looks amazing with his new hair color! Love him."
In 2010, Hilton raised eyebrows after being photographed making what appears to be a Nazi salute on a yacht during a party. Her rep said at the time the heiress was dancing and scratching her face.
Hilton had become famous due to another leaked recording - the online posting of a sex tape. The footage was released in 2003, just before the premiere of her reality show "The Simple Life."
A rep for the Grindr app also weighed in on Hilton's remarks. A message posted on the company's Twitter page read: "@parishilton, frankly we're surprised that you hadn't heard about Grindr sooner, given some of the guys you date."