"What I did was wrong and inexcusable," Brooks Ayers told E! News
Brooks Ayers is breaking his silence about the controversy surrounding his claim that he has cancer after the hospital where he said he was treated revealed he was never a patient there.
On Wednesday, Ayers, who is Real Housewives of Orange County star Vicki Gunvalson‘s ex-boyfriend, made the bombshell admission that he had indeed forged medical documents from cancer hospital City of Hope, which he originally presented in an attempt to prove his diagnosis.
“Words cannot express the deep regret that I have in fabricating documents to ‘prove’ to the world that I, in fact, have cancer,” Ayers told E! News in a statement. “What I did was wrong and inexcusable. I acted alone, without Vicki’s knowledge, to produce documents for a reality TV show in hopes of putting doubts about my cancer to rest. I never intended to disclose my actual medical records or details about my private and personal medical history, thus the rationalization of presenting documents that weren’t true simply for a ‘storyline’ for the show.”
Despite admitting to faking the documents, Ayers maintained he does, in fact, have cancer – though he will no longer be discussing it publicly.
“From this day forward, my own personal journey with this disease will remain private as I initially intended over a year ago,” Ayers continued. “My sincerest apologies to my family, friends, loved ones, and those who are battling this horrid disease for any additional pain and/or stress that I have caused. As [University of Louisville basketball coach] Rick Pitino once said, ‘Mistakes can be good. They are fertilizer. Everything I’ve learned about coaching [life], I’ve learned from making mistakes.’ I made a mistake yet I have learned a huge lesson as well.”
Last week, Ayers showed E! News medical docments with “City of Hope” printed across the top. The outlet followed up with an investigation of the documents that highlighted several inaccuracies and inconsistencies.
On Tuesday, a hospital spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE that City of Hope “has not provided any cancer treatment to anyone by the name of David Brooks Ayers.”
Ayers’ claim that he was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2013 has been a significant source of tension among him and the women starring on the most recent season of the Bravo reality show.