Paris Hilton has released a lengthy apology letter after her controversial comments in a New York taxi.
The heiress found herself in hot water after an audio recording captured the socialite saying ‘most gay men… probably have AIDS.’
During a conversation with a friend about Grindr, the popular dating app for gay men, she said: ‘Gay guys are the horniest people in the world…they’re disgusting.
‘Dude, most of them probably have AIDS.’
The comments shocked her fans, friends and the gay community.
Ben Summerskill, the Chief Executive of UK-based gay rights charity Stonewall, said her comments are a ‘silly caricature of the real world,’ adding he was not aware one of her academic interests was epidemiology, the study of finding causes and patterns in diseases.
In a statement provided to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Hilton has apologized.
‘As anyone close to me knows, I always have been and always will be a huge supporter of the gay community,’ she said.
‘I am so sorry and so upset that I caused pain to my gay friends, fans and their families with the comments heard this morning.
‘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.
She continues: ‘HIV/AIDS can hurt anyone, gay and straight, men and women. It's something I take very seriously and should not have been thrown around in conversation.
‘Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know. 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 ends the letter by saying: ‘Thank you for taking a minute to read this, I love you.’
The apology follows the audio, released by RadarOnline, which was allegedly recorded by a taxi driver on 7 September.