John Barnes responds to homophobia accusations after his Celebrity Big Brother eviction

Jess Glass January 23, 2018
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(Photo: Channel 5)

Football legend John Barnes has responded to accusations of homophobia in his first interview since leaving Celebrity Big Brother.

In an interview with Celebrity Big Brother host Emma Willis, Barnes firmly rejected the ‘lie’ that he had been homophobic towards housemates Andrew Brady and Shane Jenek.

Barnes said that the accusations, which he branded a lie, had shocked and disappointed him.

He said: “It was a bit of a shock when I saw the programme last night.

“I was very disappointed with some of the suggestions of me being homophobic.”

(Photo: Channel 5)

The football manager was nominated by fellow housemates in the wake of comments on Saturday’s show that many viewers branded as homophobic.

The 54-year-old caused controversy after he said that housemate Andrew Brady would be “out of the club” if anything sexual happened between him and Courtney Act, given name Shane Jenek.

Shane and John also discussed the stereotype that many heterosexual men are uncomfortable around gay men.

During Tuesday’s episode, Emma Willis asked Barnes how he felt about knowing how those comments were one of the causes of his nomination and subsequent eviction.

(Photo: Channel 5)

Barnes replied: “Had that been mentioned in there [during the nominations] we would have had it out there and then.”

Responding to the comments made about Andrew Brady being ‘out of the club’ Barnes said that his words were taken out of context, which involved an unbroadcast in-joke between him and Andrew.

Barnes said: “Throughout the programme, we have been teasing Andrew and Shane about their relationship.

“I have in no way shamed Andrew, we’ve all been laughing and joking.”

He then went on to explain the joke of being ‘not in the club’, which began as a suggestion of him and Andrew going out partying once Celebrity Big Brother was over.

“I’m 54, I’m married, I’m not part of that [partying] club,” he said.

The women nominating John and Daniel last week (Photo: Channel 5)

Barnes then moved on to discuss his other comments made about heterosexual men feeling uncomfortable around gay men because of their sexuality.

The 54-year-old clarified that he meant his comments as a reflection on society in general, rather than an accurate representation of his own personal opinions.

He said: “Society has made certain preconceptions by straight men feel a certain way towards gay men.

“I’m talking about men feeling a certain way, not me. When I say we I mean society, not me, society.

“We feel that way, society feels that way, because of what we have wrongly been told about gays for a long time.”

(Photo: Channel 5)

John Barnes’ family and friends released a statement whilst Barnes was still on the show, defending him against the claims of homophobia and referencing his decades of work on fighting racism in football.

Barnes echoed this in his exit interview with Emma Willis, saying: “We have a diverse group of people in the house who have been discriminated against.”

“The discrimination we all feel is exactly the same, and I have spoken about this for 20 years in schools and universities. For me to come out to that was a big shock.”

(Photo: Channel 5)

Emma Willis concluded the interview without asking questions about John’s time in the house as they had run out of time.

John responded: “I felt like I had to clear that up.”

More: Big Brother, CBB, CBB 2018, celebrity big brother, channel 5, entertainment, Homophobia, Television, UK Entertainment

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