Paris Hilton has issued a lengthy public apology after she was secretly recorded making homophobic comments to a gay friend in a taxi.

During the conversation, in which a man is heard logging on to gay dating app Grindr, Hilton says:

“Ewwww…gay guys are the horniest people in the world…they’re disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS…I would be so scared if I was a gay guy…you’ll like, die of AIDS.

The remarks were apparently made in the early morning hours of September 7 while Hilton was in Manhattan for New York Fashion Week.

After the private conversation was reported by US media, a representative for Hilton released a statement saying: “Paris Hilton’s comments were to express that it is dangerous for anyone to have unprotected sex that could lead to a life threatening disease”.

On Friday, the star wrote on her official Twitter account “I want to say how sorry I am,” and linked to a full statement that had been sent to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), it said:

“As anyone close to me knows, I always have been and always will be a huge supporter of the gay community.

I am so sorry and so upset that I caused pain to my gay friends, fans and their families with the comments heard this morning.

I was having this private conversation with a friend of mine who is gay and our conversation was in no way towards the entire gay community.

It is the last thing that I would ever want to do and I cannot put into words how much I wish I could take back every word.

HIV/AIDS can hurt anyone, gay and straight, men and women. It’s something I take very seriously and should not have been thrown around in conversation.

Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know. It is so wrong when people bully or put down others for being gay. No one should have to go through that.

Again, I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart and I feel absolutely horrible. I hope that everyone can accept my apology and know that it is not who I am or how I feel in any way.

Thank you for taking a minute to read this, I love you.”