NEW YORK —
The editor of the far-right website Breitbart News, Milo Yiannopoulos, resigned Tuesday over remarks in which he appears to be defending sex with children — comments that also cost him a book deal and a high-profile speaking engagement.
“I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues' important reporting, so today, I am resigning from Breitbart effective immediately. This decision is mine alone,” he said Tuesday in New York.
Simon and Schuster said Monday it is canceling plans to publish Yiannopoulos' new book Dangerous, and the American Conservative Union has uninvited him from speaking at its conference later this week.
Year-old video of a Yiannopoulos interview surfaced this week in which he appeared to condone sex between grown men and teenagers who have not yet reached the age of consent.
“We get hung up on this kind of child abuse stuff,” he said and called the idea of consent between two partners “arbitrary and oppressive.”
When was asked if he is defending pedophilia, Yiannopoulos told the interviewer he does not know the meaning of the word.
“Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty.”
The 33-year-old Yiannopoulos denies condoning sex with minors and says his own experience of being sexually abused when he was a child has “led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous.”
He said he deeply regrets that his words may may have shown a “lack of care for other victims or, worse, advocacy.”
The British-born Yiannopoulos is a strong supporter of President Donald Trump. He appears to enjoy provoking liberals and others during speeches and on television with comments on blacks, Muslims, and gays, even though Yiannopoulos is a homosexual and sometimes wears pearl necklaces during TV interviews.
Some of his critics dismiss him as nothing more than a fraud and a performance artist.
The University of California at Berkeley canceled a Yiannopoulos speech earlier this month when protests against him turned violent. Trump reacted by threatening to withhold federal aid to the school.