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Monday
Feb102014

Juan Pablo on Controversy: 'It Was a Misuse of a Word'

ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) -- The Bachelor star Juan Pablo Galavis is still apologizing for the anti-gay comments he made more than two weeks ago, now saying that he has a relative who is gay.

“I have a cousin who is gay. His sister is a nun. So it’s been around my house all my life,” Galavis said Monday on ABC’s Good Morning America.  ”So, to me, it was a misunderstanding.”

Galavis, the reality TV show’s first Latino bachelor, told a TV reporter last month that gays are “more ‘pervert’ in a sense” and should not be allowed on the show. He has blamed his quote on the fact that English is his second language.

“It’s been hard because, to me, when I speak English, it happened to me two months of filming, sometimes the words that I used were not interpreted the way that they should be interpreted, or I use a wrong word,” Galavis said on GMA.  “So I will go on my phone, Google and find the right word and do it that way.”

“It was a misuse of a word,” Galavis said of his use of “pervert” in explaining that having a gay bachelor would make the show “too strong...too hard to watch” and not a “good example for kids.”

Galavis stated in an earlier apology on his Facebook page that he also has friends who are gay.

“I have many gay friends and one of my closest friends who’s like a brother has been a constant in my life especially during the past five months,” Galavis wrote.

The single dad confirmed that he had spoken to officials with GLAAD and that the two sides “made sense between each other.”

“I learned that people just need to worry about their lives and my life,” Galavis said of what he’s taken away from the controversy.

“It’s about respect. I respect everybody,” he said.  “It’s not about the color of their skin, their religion. We just got to respect everybody as they are because they were born that way.”

Galavis said another controversy related to his role as the Bachelor -- in which he reduced a contestant to tears -- was also lost in translation.

“It’s another kind of controversy where people watch it for two hours within four days so there’s a lot more conversations,” Galavis said, explaining he had apologized to Clare Crawley, who cried when he told her he regretted going swimming with her in Vietnam.

“At four in the morning I was watching kind of baseball...and she knocked on the door, caught me off guard, and she was so excited about the whole day, you know, that, to me, you want to go in the ocean for your first time, I was like, ‘Sure,’” Galavis said of the moment that played out in last week’s episode.  “And then in the morning I was like, ‘I should have said no because it wasn’t fair for the other 10 girls that were in the room.’”

“Things got cleared,” Galavis said of his conversation with Crawley, who has since said the episode “definitely set me back and took me back into my mind and took me out of my heart.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio