Catherine Zeta-Jones HPV-free, says Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones (Reuters)
Michael Douglas says his wife does not have human papillomavirus.
The actor appeared to suggest Catherine Zeta-Jones could have given him the sexually transmitted disease in a candid interview published last week.
When asked by a journalist at The Guardian newspaper if he regretted his years of hard-partying before after his 2010 battle with throat cancer Michael linked oral sex to the illness.
"No. Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus," he was quoted.
"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. And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it," he joked.
The actor's spokesperson clarified afterwards Michael never said oral sex "caused" him to have cancer.
The damage was done and rumours persisted over whether his famous wife also had HPV.
American newswoman Barbara Walters attempted to clear up the issue on her talk show The View on Wednesday.
She said she spoke with Michael, who wanted everyone to know he was not referring to Catherine.
"Michael would like everyone to know that his wife, Catherine, is healthy," the journalist said. "She does not have the HPV virus. He doesn't know how he got cancer."
"He does not want anyone to think it was from Catherine... he is happy it is raising awareness about HPV."
The statement followed Michael's attempt to make light of his remarks at a New York event earlier this week, according to Access Hollywood.
"I do not know what caused my cancer. If I did I'd have a Nobel Prize," he joked.