By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 05, 2002 11:00 AM

Former PEOPLE Sexiest Man Alive and upcoming “Chicago” star Richard Gere has a new honor to deal with: He’s won the 2002 Foot in Mouth award from Britain’s Plain English Campaign.

He was cited for giving the most baffling celebrity quote of the year, reports Britain’s Guardian — the newspaper to which Gere actually had given the award-winning quote last June.

Asked about the rumors regarding his sexual orientation, Gere, 53, said: “You have to start to really look at yourself. I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. Does it change the fact of who I am what anyone says about it?

“If I was a giraffe, and someone said I was a snake, I’d think, no, actually I’m a giraffe. Those kind of things hurt people round you more than they hurt you, because they hurt for you.”

As such, Gere has won the Plain English Campaign’s Golden Bull Award. There have been no reports of his attending the ceremony, which is scheduled for Thursday in London to mark Plain English Day.

The Campaign, an independent watchdog group, will also honor organizations that have made particularly clear statements during 2002.