Henry Cavill has apologised for “any confusion and misunderstanding” over comments he made around the #MeToo movement.
The Man Of Steel actor had said, in an interview with GQ Australia magazine, that he feels hesitant to talk to women in a flirtatious manner because he fears being called a “rapist or something”.
In a statement to the Press Association, Cavill said: “Having seen the reaction to an article, in particular about my feelings on dating and the #MeToo movement, I just wanted to apologise for any confusion and misunderstanding that this may have created.
“Insensitivity was absolutely not my intention.
“In light of this I would just like to clarify and confirm to all that I have always and will continue to hold women in the highest of regard, no matter the type of relationship whether it be friendship, professional, or a significant other.
“Never would I intend to disrespect in any way, shape or form.”
He added: “This experience has taught me a valuable lesson as to the context and the nuance of editorial liberties.
“I look forward to clarifying my position in the future towards a subject that is so vitally important and in which I wholeheartedly support.”
Cavill, 35, had appeared to suggest in the interview that flirting with somebody would be like “casting myself into the fires of hell”, as a person in the public eye.
The actor said he thinks “stuff has to change” regarding the behaviour of some men, but that “it’s important to also retain the good things, which were a quality of the past, and get rid of the bad things”.
Cavill, who will soon be seen in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, said there is “something wonderful about a man chasing a woman”.
“There’s a traditional approach to that, which is nice. I think a woman should be wooed and chased, but maybe I’m old-fashioned for thinking that.”
He added: “It’s very difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place. Because then it’s like ‘Well, I don’t want to go up and talk to her, because I’m going to be called a rapist or something’.
“So you’re like ‘Forget it, I’m going to call an ex-girlfriend instead, and then just go back to a relationship which never really worked’.
“But it’s way safer than casting myself into the fires of hell, because I’m someone in the public eye, and if I go and flirt with someone, then who knows what’s going to happen?
“Now? Now you really can’t pursue someone further than ‘No’. It’s like ‘OK, cool’. But then there’s the ‘Oh why’d you give up?’
“And it’s like ‘Well, because I didn’t want to go to jail’.”
In the interview, Cavill also said he has been in “situations with people I’ve worked with being perhaps overfamiliar with some of the actresses.
“But, I’ve always walked up to them and said ‘Hey, are you all right? That’s creepy’.”