Matt Damon, an avowed straight man, has spoken out about rumors that he and his actor pal Ben Affleck have had a gay relationship.
The star of the "Bourne" movies was the focus of speculation early in his career that he and Affleck had a romantic relationship, but they seem to have died down in recent years.
But in a new interview with Playboy magazine, Damon - who has been married to Luciana Barroso for seven years - speaks to those rumors, addressing why he never dignified them with a denial:
"I never denied those rumors because I was offended and didn't want to offend my friends who were gay," the actor told Playboy, "as if being gay were some kind of f--king disease. It put me in a weird position in that sense."
Damon said in the interview, which was also reported on by the New York Daily News, he is glad to see that coming out of the closet is something that doesn't subject celebrities to nasty shaming as it did decades ago when stars like singer Liberace - whose lover Scott Thorson will be played by Damon in the upcoming film "Behind the Candelabra" - said they were gay.
"(T)he fact that Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres can come out so beautifully and powerfully, and it's a big f---ing deal that it turns out nobody gives a s---," Damon said, adding later, "if Liberace were alive today, everybody would love his music and nobody would care what he did in his private life. Like with Elton John."
But unfortunately, Damon notes, Liberace's time was not one in which it was considered acceptable by many for stars to be openly gay.
"These two men were deeply in love and in a real relationship—a marriage—long before there was gay marriage. That's not an insignificant thing," he said.
To contact the editor, e-mail: