Did actor Michael Douglas say that cunnilingus could have been a contributing factor to his throat cancer diagnosis three years ago? Not exactly, says his rep.
In a candid interview with the Guardian, Douglas was asked if he regretted his years of smoking and drinking, which are common causes of throat cancer.
The Oscar winner replied, "No. Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus."
Douglas, 68, who has been married to Catherine Zeta-Jones since 2000, 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 cancer."
Michaels rep, Allen Burry, explained to USA Today, "Michael Douglas did not say cunnilingus was the cause of his cancer. It was discussed that oral sex is a suspected cause of certain oral cancers as doctor's in the article point out, but he did not say it was the specific cause of his personal cancer."
Health officials maintain that smoking and alcohol are the main culprits in oral cancer, but the HPV virus has been linked to a kind of throat cancer.
Douglas has been free of cancer for more than two years after undergoing extensive chemotherapy. He recently told “Extra,” “With my particular type of cancer, if you're free after two years, it doesn't usually come back, so I feel great.”
The actor garnered rave reviews for his portrayal of Liberace in the HBO biopic “Behind the Candelabra.”