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Ian McKellen apologises over Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer comments

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 3, 2019  | 11:52 IST

London, Mar 3 (PTI) Veteran actor Ian McKellen has apologised for insinuating that Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer sexually assaulted people because they were "in the closet". On a podcast, the 79-year-old actor had said "their problems" were the result of the fact that they had to be secretive about their sexual orientation. McKellen later released a statement on Twitter Saturday, saying that his comments were wrong and offered an "unreserved" apology to the LGBT community for putting his thoughts across "clumsily". "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. "My intention was to encourage the LGBT audience I was addressing, to be proud and open about their sexuality. In doing so, my point was clumsily expressed. I would never, ever trivialise or condone abuse of any kind," he said. McKellen, who has worked with Singer in "Apt Pupil" and three "X-Men" films, said if the accusations prove credible, "the abuser's access to power should be removed." "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... "I deeply regret my careless remarks and apologise unreservedly for any distress I caused," he added. McKellen had 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." In January 2018, actor Anthony Rapp was the first to accuse Spacey of sexual harassment when he was a teenager, leading others to come forward with similar allegations. Spacey said he did not remember the encounter but apologised for any "inappropriate drunken behaviour". Early this year, Singer was hit with fresh allegations of misconduct for engaging in sexual encounters with underage boys, which he denied. PTI RDS RDS

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