Speaking to drag performer Courtney Act (aka Shane Jenek), John admitted to feeling uncomfortable around gay men, particularly expressing concern they could want to “pounce on” him.
He added: “I’m that way because everything I’ve said here is about the way I’ve been brought up.”
John’s family have now issued a joint statement, defending the former footballer from accusations of homophobia, claiming that he was not expressing his own feelings, but rather the feelings of many straight men.
The statement said: “As John’s friends and family we felt strongly that an alternative narrative regarding the discussion between John and Shane J aired on Saturday night should be presented.
“The motivation for this is that the way the conversation was presented on the show, the subsequent media coverage and the social media backlash have been highly distressing as the popular interpretation is completely out of keeping with our experience of John.
“It seems quite clear to us from the discussion as presented on the show that John is not offering the statements as reflections of his own feelings but an as explanation (but not justification) of the mentality that can cause some straight men to hold homophobic beliefs.”
Read the lengthy statement in full below:
Upon entering the house, John said in his entrance VT: “I have strong views on discrimination. In some respects, in terms of racism, in terms of feminism, in terms of homophobia… but of course, everyone’s different. I treat people based on their character.”
‘Celebrity Big Brother’ airs nightly on Channel 5.