SIR Ian McKellen has apologised for suggesting Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer allegedly abused boys because they were “in the closet”.
The actor recently came under fire after making the comments during an interview on the #QueerAF podcast.
PA:Press Association Sir Ian McKellen has apologised for comments he made about Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer
He said: “Both of them were in the closet. Hence all their problems as people and their relationships with other people.
“If they had been able to be open about themselves and their desires, they wouldn’t have started abusing people in the way they’re being accused.”
But he has now backtracked and claimed his comments during National Student Pride 2019 were “clumsily expressed”.
He also insisted he was trying to “encourage the LGBT audience” to be “proud and open” about their sexuality.’DEEP REGRET’
The Lord of the Rings star said in a statement: “As part of an extended podcast recently, I suggested that if closeted people were instead open about their sexuality they wouldn’t abuse others. That, of course, is wrong.
“I would never, ever trivialise or condone abuse of any kind. I deeply regret my careless remarks and apologise unreservedly for any distress I caused.
“When it comes to abuse by people in positions of power, the correct response is clear.
“The accusers must be heard and the accused given the opportunity to clear their names. If the accusations prove credible, the abuser’s access to power should be removed.”
Sir Ian worked with Bohemian Rhapsody director Singer on the X-Men films and had roles at the Old Vic theatre while Spacey was artistic director.
Both men have since been accused of abusing others – with the Old Vic confirming they received 20 testimonies of alleged inappropriate behaviour by Spacey.
The double Oscar winner has pleaded not guilty to groping an 18-year-old restaurant worker in Nantucket, US, and is being investigated by American and British police.
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He was also accused of making a sexual advance to actor Anthony Rapp when he was aged 14 in 1986.
Spacey said he did not remember the encounter, but apologised for any “inappropriate drunken behaviour”.
Meanwhile Singer allegedly sexually assaulted four men while they were underage – but the director has since branded the report “a homophobic smear piece”.
Reuters Kevin Spacey faces a string of abuse allegations
Getty – Contributor Bryan Singer faces similar accusations
IanMcKellen/Twitter Sir Ian released a statement apologising for his comments
Kevin Spacey appears in court in Nantucket, US, on sexual assault charge after groping allegation