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Lewis Takes Foot Out of Mouth, Issues Statement

9/4/2007 6:49 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Alleged comedian Jerry Lewis has issued a statement to CNN, following the public outcry over his use of a gay slur on this weekend's MDA Telethon:

"During the 21-1/2-hour live broadcast of my Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association this weekend, I made a joking comment to a member of my production team. I apologize to anyone who was offended. I obviously made a bad choice of words. Everyone who knows me understands that I hold no prejudices in this regard. In the family atmosphere of the Telethon, I forget that not everyone knows me that well. That something like this would distract from the true purpose of the Telethon pains me deeply. The success of the show and all the good that will come from it shouldn't be lost because of one unfortunate word. I accept responsibility for what I said. There are no excuses. I am sorry."

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