Michael Douglas: I was sorry for effect of oral sex cancer comments on my wife

Michael Douglas

Behind the Candelabra star tells Event magazine he ‘regretted the embarrasment’ to Catherine Zeta-Jones of his comments about oral sex and cancer given in a 2013 Guardian interview

Michael Douglas has said he regretted the embarrassment caused to his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, by the revelation two years ago that his cancer may have been caused by performing oral sex.

In 2013, the two-time Oscar-winner revealed to Xan Brooks of the Guardian that his illness was the result of contracting human papillomavirus (HPV), which experts believe can be brought on by cunnilingus. The story made headlines around the world when Douglas was promoting his Emmy-winning role in Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra after being declared free of cancer.

“It was one of those things … and I so regretted any embarrassment that it caused Catherine,” Douglas, 70, told Event magazine, “and her family.”

The pair split temporarily in August 2013, but quickly reconciled. “We had a little bump in the road,” said the actor. “The problem in this business is that everything is so public. I love Catherine as much, more than I ever have. And hopefully the feeling’s mutual.

“We worked things out – if both people want to work something out and make it better, you can do it. You can’t do it if it’s just one person.”

The star of Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction also revealed he viewed the world differently after recovering from cancer. In his 2013 interview, the actor said he had checkups every six months but revealed doctors did not expect the illness to return.

“I was just happy to be alive. I was ecstatic,” he said. “It feels like a rebirth after you go through cancer and you come out of it. You feel like you’re a child.

“You see priorities differently,” he added. “You have a much deeper appreciation of marriage, of your children – you see everything a little bit clearer, and a little brighter.”

Douglas initially reported his illness as throat cancer, but later revealed it had been tongue cancer. He said he had lied following word from surgeons that the latter illness could entail radical surgery at a time when he was about to begin promoting a starring role in 2010’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Monday 29th June 2015 09.48 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010