Michael Douglas takes back oral sex cancer claim

Michael Douglas at the Cannes Film Festival. Photo/AP
Michael Douglas at the Cannes Film Festival. Photo/AP

A spokesman for Michael Douglas has denied the Hollywood veteran actor had blamed his throat cancer on oral sex in a British newspaper interview.

The spokesman said the 68-year-old Fatal Attraction star had discussed the link between oral cancers and oral sex, among other risk factors, but was not referring to his own specific case.

"Michael did not say cunnilingus was the cause of his cancer," spokesman Allen Burry told AFP, referring to the star's interview with British daily the Guardian.

"He certainly discussed oral sex in the article, and oral sex is a suspected cause of certain oral cancers, as the doctors in the article did point out. But he did not say this was the specific cause of his personal cancer."

In the newspaper interview Douglas, who stars in the just-released biopic of flamboyant entertainer Liberace, Behind The Candelabra, said his cancer was caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

"Without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus," he was quoted as saying.

"I did worry if the stress caused by my son's incarceration didn't help trigger it. But yeah, it's a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer," he added, referring to his son Cameron's jailing for drug offences.

But Douglas's spokesman said the actor was talking in general, not personal terms. "This is not the cause of his cancer," he said.

A spokesman for Guardian News & Media said it had received no complaints about the articles in question from Michael Douglas or his representatives.

"We would of course investigate any complaints about our journalism that we received."

The two-time Oscar winner revealed in 2010 that he was battling with stage-four cancer, but beat the disease thanks to a gruelling regime of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

- AFP

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