Polarizing right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos apologized during a Tuesday press conference for comments he made about sexual relationships between boys and men, the AP reports. Yiannopoulos, speaking to reporters, said that two men, including a priest, had touched him inappropriately when he was between the ages of 13 and 16. "My experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous," he said. "But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation, and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, advocacy. I am horrified by that impression."
The apology followed days of criticism from fellow conservatives after the release of video clips in which Yiannopoulos appeared to defend sexual relationships between men and boys as young as 13. In one of them, Yiannopoulos, who is gay, said relationships between boys and men could "help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable sort of rock." Yiannopoulos has appeared, until now, to revel in controversies and has portrayed himself as a champion of free speech. Tuesday's apology, he said, was the first he has ever made. "I do say some things on the tapes that I do not mean and which do not reflect my views." He said he "would like to restate my disgust at adults who sexually abuse minors."