Paris Hilton continued to do damage control Thursday, apologizing for saying gay men were "disgusting" and "probably had AIDS."
"I am so sorry and so upset that I caused pain to my gay friends, fans and their families," Hilton said in part of a lengthy apology she released to the the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD.) "Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know."
Hilton's apology comes the same day an audio recording of her speaking about gay people appeared on the Internet. The audio was recorded as Hilton was riding in a cab with "an openly gay male model" during New York Fashion Week in the early morning hours of Friday, September 7, RadarOnline reported.
The gay friend was showing Hilton the iPhone app Grindr, which advertises itself as the "most popular all-male location-based social network out there," offering "quick, convenient, and discreet" connections, RadarOnline reported.
"Say I log into Grindr, someone that's on Grindr can be in that building and it tells you all the locations of where they are and you can be like, 'Yo, you wanna f--k?' and he might be on like, the sixth floor," the male voice is heard saying.
"Ewww! Gay guys are the horniest people in the world," Hilton said. "They're disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS. ... I would be so scared if I were a gay guy. You'll like, die of AIDS."
Shortly after the tape was posted Hilton's publicist said her comments were expressions of concern about the dangers of unprotected sex, not homophobic slurs.
Hilton's publicist, in a statement sent to CNN Thursday, confirmed the recording was authentic, but said, "It was not her intent to make any derogatory comments about all gays."
"Paris Hilton is a huge supporter of the gay community and would never purposefully make any negative statements about anyone's sexual orientation," the statement said.
Ironically, a sex tape was a major factor in boosting Hilton's celebrity status. The great-granddaughter of hotel mogul Conrad Hilton was captured in a grainy video having sex with boyfriend Rick Salomon. It surfaced in 2003, just days before the debut of her reality TV series "The Simple Life," which subsequently registered high ratings.
Hilton said the tape captured a conversation that was supposed to be private. "I was having this private conversation with a friend of mine who is gay and our conversation was in no way towards the entire gay community," her statement said. "It is the last thing that I would ever want to do and I cannot put into words how much I wish I could take back every word."