Sarah Palin has admitted that she hasn’t read US reality star Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments, despite speaking out to defend them last week.

Asked by Fox News host Greta van Susteren on Monday (December 23) whether she had found the wording of Robertson’s comments offensive, the former US vice-presidential candidate admitted: “I haven’t read the article. I don’t know exactly how he said it.

“But what he was doing was in response to a question about a lifestyle he disagrees with, and yet he has said over and over again he doesn’t hate the person engaging in a lifestyle he disagrees with,” the 56-year-old added.

Palin had previously defended the Duck Dynasty star, who was widely criticised after making homophobic remarks in an interview with men’s magazine GQ earlier this month.

Robertson had been asked to describe sin by the magazine, and replied: “It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. I mean, come on dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.

“Start with homosexual behaviour and just morph out from there,” he continued. “Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and those men.”

Following criticism of the star, Palin had written on her Facebook page: “Free speech is an endangered species. Those “intolerants” hatin’ [sic] and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”

Following the interview’s publication, the TV network which airs Duck Dynasty, A&E, said it was “extremely disappointed”, adding the comments were based on Robertson’s “personal beliefs” and “in no way reflect those of A&E”.

Actor Charlie Sheen was among those who took issue with Robertson’s comments, calling the 67-year-old “mallard brained.”

Robertson was initially suspended from appearing in the reality sitcom, but was recently rumoured to be appearing in the show when it returns in January.

Robertson has refused to apologise for his comments, adding earlier this week that “we are not going to procreate the human race unless we have a man and a woman.”

Sarah Palin is known for backing anti-gay public figures and organisations. In July 2012, she defended fast food chain Chick-Fil-A’s opposition to gay rights by posing for a photograph at an outlet in Texas with her husband.