The actor says he never made inflammatory remarks about the couple

By Stephen M. Silverman
April 10, 2006 02:25 PM

Michael Douglas is now saying he was misquoted by a magazine that said he made inflammatory remarks about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

“I don’t know about Brad Pitt, leaving that beautiful wife to go hold orphans for Angelina,” Douglas, referring to Jennifer Aniston, is quoted as saying in the current GQ magazine. “I mean, how long is that going to last?”

However Douglas says he never uttered those words. “I did not make that statement,” he said during an interview for his upcoming film The Sentinel. “It was a lengthy article. I probably spent more than 20 hours with her with a tape recorder and all of that. I asked her to play back the tape for me and she said that she turned the tape off at that time.”

Douglas, who is promoting his new movie also says he dispatched a personal apology to Pitt and Jolie.

“I consider him a good friend,” Douglas tells TV’s Extra, “and she does wonderful work for the United Nations, which is what I’m also involved in …There’s just a lot of pressure on the print media and they get to kind of exploitative quotes to try to attract people for their circulation, so it was unfortunate.”

GQ executive editor Andy Ward issued a statement to PEOPLE on Monday saying the magazine stands by its story. “Our reporter Jeanne Marie Laskas spent many hours over the course of four months with Michael Douglas. His comments about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – along with many other quotes from that long night at a hotel bar in Washington, none of which he is disputing – are in Jeanne Marie’s notebook. We stand behind them 100 percent. For him to suggest we made them up is laughable. Still, we like the guy and hope all this attention will help his movie.”

In the magazine article, Douglas, 61, also takes aim at Renee Zellweger and Julia Roberts: “I mean, don’t ask me what happened with Renee Zellweger. I don’t know how you get married for four months. And Julia with Lyle.” (Zellweger annulled her four-month marriage to country singer Kenny Chesney last fall, while Roberts divorced singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett in 1995 after a two-year marriage.)

As for his own marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones, 36, now in its sixth year, Douglas says he’s “been fortunate. You learn to respect something of value and nurture it and treat it well.”