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Sydney Morning Herald journalist Andrew Hornery has maintained he wasn't trying to force Rebel Wilson to come out as he apologised to the Australian actor.
Horney released a new article admitting he 'made mistakes' today (13 June), after he previously revealed he had reached out to Wilson regarding her relationship before she had announced it to the public.
The journalist originally explained he had given Wilson two days to comment on her romance with girlfriend Romana Agruma, and claimed she had tried to 'gazump' his story by taking to Instagram to share the news herself.
The revelation resulted in a wave of backlash and criticism, with social media users across the globe accusing Hornery of 'forcing' Wilson to come out. The actor herself appeared to back this claim as she responded to one Twitter user to say it was a 'very hard situation but [she was] trying to handle it with grace'.
Hornery has now said he learned some 'new and difficult lessons' from his decision to write an article about his correspondence with Wilson, and explained he wanted to 'be upfront with you about the things I got wrong'.
"I genuinely regret that Rebel has found this hard," he continued. "That was never my intention. But I see she has handled it all with extraordinary grace. As a gay man I’m well aware of how deeply discrimination hurts. The last thing I would ever want to do is inflict that pain on someone else."
Absolute kicker is @smh legitimately scolding Rebel Wilson bc when faced with a newspaper saying they are going to out her without her consent & she has two days to supply a quote, she quickly came out first.— Sally Rugg (@sallyrugg) June 12, 2022
As if @smh owns HER story, is entitled to break it & she scooped THEM!
The journalist went on to say his job writing 'about the personal lives of the rich, powerful and famous' comes with its own challenges, and explained that as a gossip columnist he saw potential for a story in the rumours that Wilson had a new partner.
Hornery was told to put his questions to Wilson in an email, and he set a deadline for her to respond as 'standard procedure'.
His email read: "I am a journalist from The Sydney Morning Herald and I was hoping I could get a comment from Rebel regarding her new relationship. While I realise Rebel’s partner has not been mentioned as yet, I have several sources who have confirmed their status and I have enough detail to publish."
“However, in the interests of transparency and fairness, before publishing I am reaching out to Rebel to see if she will engage in what I believe is a happy and unexpected news story for her, especially given the recent Pride celebrations. My deadline is Friday, 1pm Sydney-time. Regards, Andrew Hornery," it concluded.
Hornery made clear that Wilson's response would have 'largely determined what [he] published', and added that his email was 'never intended to be a threat'.
"We need to make it clear that a deadline is not an ultimatum," he wrote.
Hornery admitted he had ultimately 'allowed [his] disappointment to cast a shadow over the piece', writing: "That was not fair and I apologise."
The publication has since removed the article and replaced it with Hornery's apology.
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Featured Image Credit: Rebel Wilson/Instagram/Alamy
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