Hollywood actor Michael
Douglas did not say he
developed throat cancer
because of oral sex, his publicist
Douglas, diagnosed with cancer
three years ago, was quoted as
telling the Guardian his strain of
cancer had been caused by HPV
But in a statement to the BBC, the
68-year-old actor's spokesman
sought to clarify that Douglas was
not talking about his own cancer.
The World Health Organization
says HPV can cause cancer of the
head and neck.
In his emailed statement on
Monday, Allen Burry said: "No. He
[Douglas] did not say oral sex was
the cause of his cancer."
The publicist referred to medical
evidence linking oral sex to head
neck cancer, adding "but
[Douglas] did not say it was the
cause to his specific cancer".
The Guardian stood by its story,
releasing audio of the
In the British newspaper's
article on Sunday, Douglas was
asked if, given his illness, he
regretted his years of smoking and
The actor was quoted as saying:
"No. Because without wanting to
get too specific, this particular
cancer is caused by HPV, which
actually comes about from
He continued: "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
The actor's illness is now in
remission, following treatment.
His son, Cameron, is serving a
prison sentence for drug
possession and dealing.
Douglas, who is married to Welsh
actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, was
treated in the early 1990s for an
addiction which some at the time
claimed to be sex.
He himself denied this and said he
was in rehab for alcohol abuse.