James Arthur: I have felt ‘deep, deep shame’ for using homophobic lyrics

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X Factor winner James Arthur has spoken out about to say that he has suffered from depression, and since being involved in a controversy surrounding homophobic lyrics, he has lost a lot of confidence.

X Factor winner Arthur late last month left Twitter following criticism for using homophobic language against another artist in a “rap feud”. He handed over control of his Twitter account to managers.

In Arthur’s rap at Micky Worthless, he said: “You f***ing queer. Hilarious, precarious you Talibani confused, imbellic mimic of a gimmick.” He was criticised by comedians Matt Lucas and Frankie Boyle for the lyrics.

Speaking in an interview with the Sun on Sunday, the X Factor 2012 winner said: “All my confidence has disappeared because the whole nation thinks I’m a homophobe who looks like a monster. I couldn’t speak to anyone for a week. It was awful.

“My little sister was being bullied in school and I was receiving constant death threats.”

“I stayed in bed for days on end… Any time I tried to get up, I couldn’t. I felt deep, deep shame about my mistakes since winning the show. I kept thinking, ‘What the f**k have I done?”

He continued: “But since becoming famous, I’ve had a depressive nature. It’s a curse. Maybe I suffer for my art.”

X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger spoke out last week to say that she only thought well of Arthur.

“I’m just there for him,” the former Pussycat Doll said, “I don’t read the press, I know who he is as a person, I know his heart. “I’m just there to support him.”

Arthur since found himself amid a new Twitter drama, as fellow X Factor contestant  Spraggan last week tweeted a text conversation between the two containing a heated disagreement over his use of the word “queer”. She later clarified to say she did not think he was a homophobe.

The Sun reported that Arthur was seeking professional help after the uproar, and that he attributes his state of mind when making the comments to the death of his grandmother.

Previously it emerged that a petition to have Arthur removed from a performance on the X Factor this Sunday, which has now gathered over 11,000 signatures.

The page administrators clarified their position, saying: “Just to remind everyone, WE ARE NOT A HATE PAGE. We are simply campaigning to get someone dropped by X Factor who has a history of hate speech and derogatory language.

“We do not feel James Arthur deserves a place on TV following his homophobia in his music and on social media.”

Controversy surrounding James Arthur’s Twitter spats around his use of homophobic lyrics on a track already escalated as iTunes last week approved a refund to a customer who complained that they were offended by the lyrics.

Singer Olly Murs also defended James Arthur, saying he gave him the “benefit of the doubt”, because he is a “talented lad”, and has apologised.


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