Matt Damon says he never denied rumours of being gay because he didn’t want to insult some of his friends.

The Hollywood actor is currently promoting an upcoming movie where he plays Scott Thorson, the lover of the late American pianist and vocalist Liberace.

Early on in his career speculation surrounded Damon’s relationship with Ben Affleck, with rumours suggesting that the pair were secretly a couple.

“I never denied those rumours because I was offended and didn’t want to offend my friends who were gay – as if being gay were some kind of fucking disease,” Damon told Playboy magazine.

He added: “It put me in a weird position in that sense. The whole thing was just gross.”

Damon and Affleck grew up together and found stardom in 1997 with their Oscar-winning film Good Will Hunting.

The actor also commented on the changing attitudes towards gay stars in the entertainment industry.

“But look, there have been great signs of progress – the fact that Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres can come out so beautifully and powerfully, and it’s a big fucking deal that it turns out nobody gives a shit.”