Paris Hilton has apologized for her shocking remarks regarding "gay guys," says gay people are the most inspiring people she knows.
"As anyone close to me knows, I always have been and always will be a huge supporter of the gay community. I am so sorry and so upset that I caused pain to my gay friends, fans and their families," Hilton said in a statement to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). "I was having this private conversation with a friend of mine who is gay and our conversation was in no way towards the entire gay community. It is the last thing that I would ever want to do and I cannot put into words how much I wish I could take back every word."
The socialite came under fire over a leaked recording in which she is heard saying homosexual men are "disgusting" and that "most of them probably have AIDS."
Hilton made her comments 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.
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."
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."
In the conversation, Hilton and her friend are talking about the mobile app Grindr, which allows individuals to meet up for casual sex. Hilton's rep claimed that the audio clip was part of a longer dialogue about "a website that encourages random sex by gay men with strangers."
"HIV/AIDS can hurt anyone, gay and straight, men and women," Hilton said in her apology. "It's something I take very seriously and should not have been thrown around in conversation."
Paris and her mother Kathy Hilton were named co-Grand Marshals of the 35th annual Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California in 2005 and appeared on the float together (pictured above).
"Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know," Hilton said in closing. "It is so wrong when people bully or put down others for being gay. No one should have to go through that. Again, I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart and I feel absolutely horrible. I hope that everyone can accept my apology and know that it is not who I am or how I feel in any way."
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!!!"
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." Along with the photo, Grindr linked to a photo of Hilton and her ex-boyfriend Doug Reinhardt, when he dressed up like a fairy.