The rapper 50 Cent has defended a Twitter remark which was interpreted as a joke that gay men should kill themselves.

The star, real name Curtis Jackson, said that the comment was “turned into an anti-gay statement”.

Last week, he tweeted: “If you [are] a man and your [sic] over 25 and you don’t eat pu**y just kill yourself damn it. The world will be a better place.”

After criticism from his followers, he wrote: “The other night I made a joke about a b**w job. My male followers enjoyed it. So I then went on to joke about women receiving the same.

“Somehow they turned a simple joke about oral sex into an anti-gay statement. I have nothing against people who choose an alternative lifestyle, in fact I’ve publicly stated my mum loved women.

“It’s funny how people think negative statements are newsworthy but positive statements are not worthy of coverage.”

50 Cent posted the first message last week, just after reports which suggested five young gay US men had committed suicide in the last three weeks.

He has a history of making anti-gay remarks.

In 2004, the star told Playboy magazine that his mother was bisexual, although he admitted that he did not like to be around gay men.

He said: “It’s OK to write that I’m prejudiced. This is as honest as I could possibly be with you.”