Erin Strecker
June 04, 2013 AT 02:38 PM EDT

Michael Douglas’ publicist issued a correction regarding what Douglas said about oral sex causing his throat cancer. The rep told the Associated Press last night the comments were misrepresented. “In a discussion with the newspaper, they talked about the causes of oral cancer, one of which was oral sex, which is noted and has been known for a while now.”

But The Guardian, the U.K. paper that Douglas originally made his remarks to, is standing by its story. On Monday night, the paper posted an audio clip of Douglas’ quote, along with a transcript that described interviewer Xan Brooks asking, “Do you feel, in hindsight, that you overloaded your system? Overloaded your system with drugs, smoking, drink?” Douglas reportedly responded, “No. No. Ah, without getting too specific, this particular cancer is caused by something called HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”

UPDATE: A rep for the actor pointed EW to a quote from Douglas at this past Monday’s American Cancer Society tribute. “I never expected to become a poster boy for head and neck cancer, but, if after what started out as trying to answer a couple of questions about the suspected sources of this disease results in opening up discussion and furthering public awareness then I’ll stand by that,” Douglas said. “Head and neck cancer can be caused by many things including the HPV virus, smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, genes, environment and stress. I do not know what caused my particular cancer. If I did I’d have a Nobel Prize. I do know that I am here today because of all the incredible advances in cancer research and treatment. Early awareness is a key factor. If this episode contributes to public awareness all the better.”

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