Page last updated at 08:08 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 09:08 UK

Everett 'sorry' for Army remarks

Rupert Everett
Everett said he felt "a terrible anguish" about dead and injured soldiers

Actor Rupert Everett has apologised for branding soldiers "wimps" and saying they were "always whining about the dangers of being killed".

"It's pathetic," the star of My Best Friend's Wedding had told the Sunday Telegraph. "The whole point of being in the Army is wanting to get killed."

But now he insists he did not mean to question the "bravery" of troops.

Everett, whose father is a retired Army major, also said he was sorry for talking "flippantly" about torture.

The British star's statement was intended for the "many in this country - and hundreds and thousands of others across the world - who have lost their brothers and sisters, their fathers and mothers to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all the countless others".

He said he was trying to make the point that "we still go to war, but actually we haven't the stomach for it".

My flippant and irresponsible behaviour arises from a deep frustration at the fact that we seem to be continually making war
Rupert Everett

"It seems to me that embracing war means accepting its underbelly as well, torture and the unspeakable violence that spirals from the battlefield to its surroundings.

"You cannot be politically correct in a war," the 49-year-old added.

"My flippant and irresponsible behaviour arises from a deep frustration at the fact that we seem to be continually making war, dreaming up new ones, instead of doing everything we can to avoid them."

Everett's remarks came as part of an interview to promote Monday night's Channel 4 documentary The Victorian Sex Explorer, about Army officer and adventurer Sir Richard Burton.

They were published on the day when three British soldiers from 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment were killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan.

Their deaths took the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 100.

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