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Michael Douglas' rep explains comments about oral sex, cancer

06/03/2013 by Kristina Lopez

Michael Douglas made headlines over the weekend after an interview with the actor published in the U.K. newspaper (Warning: interview contains explicit language) The Guardian claimed the actor attributed his throat cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV). However, a spokesperson for the actor denied Douglas ever said HPV was the cause of his cancer.

The Guardian quoted Douglas saying, "without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV (human papillomavirus)..." The actor then allegedly said HPV "comes about from" performing oral sex on a woman.

In response to the interview, a spokesperson for Douglas told ABC News on Monday, June 3, "In his interview in The Guardian, he never said it was the cause of his particular cancer. They did discuss it. He did say oral sex is a suspected cause of certain oral cancers. He did not say it was his specifically. ... He did not say it was the cause of his cancer."

Update 6/3 4:00 p.m. PT: The Guardian released a portion of the audio from their interview with Douglas talking about his cancer. Click here to listen.

According to The Associated Press, health officials claim smoking and drinking are the main causes of oral cancer, although HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, has been linked to one kind of throat cancer. HPV can also cause cervical cancer in women.

The subject of HPV came up after the Guardian asked Douglas if he regretted his years of drinking and smoking after being diagnosed with throat cancer, to which he reportedly said, "No."

A spokesperson for The Guardian told the AP that the newspaper had not received complaints about the interview from Douglas or his spokespeople.

Douglas, who recently appeared in the Liberace biopic "Behind the Candelabra," revealed in August 2010 that he was being treated for stage four throat cancer. In January 2011, Douglas said that he had beaten his cancer and that his throat tumor was gone.

The actor is currently married to actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. The two wed in 2000 and have two children together, 12-year-old Dylan Michael and 10-year-old Carys Zeta. Douglas also has a 34-year-old son named Cameron Douglas from his previous marriage to Diandra Douglas, which ended in divorce in 1995.

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