The audio is scratchy, but the Guardian insists it heard Michael Douglas loud and clear.
The U.K. newspaper has posted an audio snippet of its interview with Douglas in response to his rep saying that the paper misconstrued what the actor said about the type of throat cancer he successfully battled being caused by an STD contracted via oral sex.
Asked by writer Xan Brooks whether years of smoking and drinking had overloaded his system, perhaps contributing to his condition, Douglas was quoted as saying, "No. Because, without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus."
And, per the audio that the Guardian posted Monday, that's exactly what Douglas said.
After the "Behind the Candelabra" star's remarks started making the rounds online, his rep told E! News: "He did not say this was the cause of his cancer. In a discussion of oral cancer, he said this is one of the suspected causes. He never made it personal."
But the Guardian is standing by its interpretation of what Douglas said--though it still remains a semantic argument, since the Oscar winner never said anything as definitive as "my cancer was caused by HPV contracted through cunnilingus," etc.
"The Guardian firmly denies this charge of misrepresentation," the paper stated today along with the audio clip and written transcript of the exchange. "[Douglas' rep, Allen Burry] was not present at the Guardian's interview with Michael Douglas; the only two people present were Mr Douglas and the Guardian writer, Xan Brooks. Here is the audio file of the relevant part of the interview, along with a verbatim transcript of that section."