NBA star Dwight Howard has responded to allegations regarding his sexuality, telling his fans "I'm not gay" during a recent interview.
Dwight carefully chose his words for the interview, saying that he's not "gay." But he never addressed whether his sexuality falls anywhere else on the LBGTQ spectrum.
Months back, Howard's world was rocked after a man named Masin Elije sued him in March. He alleged that Howard had threatened him for not signing a non-disclosure agreement about their "communications." He claimed that he and Howard were in an intimate relationship.
Howard countersued, denying that he ever knew his accuser.
"It hurt at first to go through it," Howard said via the New York Post. "It hurt. I sat at home, and I was like, 'Man, I'll never want to come outside again.' I'm like, 'Why?'
"I'm not gay. It's a lot of people who are, and they have to hide, and it's people who have mental issues, and they have to hide. It's people who have different problems in life, and they have to hide. They have to put on the mask every day. It's like, I don't want to wear no mask. I just want to be."
The full interview is set to air over Wednesday and Thursday night.
Howard says the scandal has "liberated him."
"I saw all the hate, the pure hate, from people that I never met before just pile up everywhere I went against me," Howard said. "And I think that liberated me because I saw how a lot of people would feel, whether they're gay or they're straight, whether they have issues."