LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer John Mayer ignited a media storm on Wednesday with a no-holds barred Playboy interview in which he described former girlfriend Jessica Simpson as “sexual napalm” and confessed an aversion to sleeping with black women.
Mayer, 32, the bluesy writer of hits like “Gravity” and “Your Body is a Wonderland”, also spoke of his passion for pornography and abiding love for ex-girlfriend Jennifer Aniston, describing her as “the most communicative, sweetest, kindest person”.
But it was the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter’s comments about black women, widely perceived as racist, that set the Internet alight and fast became one of the top three most popular topics on Twitter.
By late Wednesday, Mayer was forced to apologize in a message of his own to his 3 million Twitter followers, saying he did not have the stomach for being “a shock jock.”
Despite being dubbed a womanizer in the media for relationships with Hollywood stars like Simpson, Aniston and Jennifer Love Hewitt, Mayer told Playboy that he was not open to having sex with black women, describing his penis as “sort of like a white supremacist”.
The singer, who has worked with rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z, also used a slur against African Americans that is widely perceived as racist.
“I am sorry that I used the (‘N’) word. And it’s such a shame that I did because the point I was trying to make was in the exact opposite spirit of the word itself,” Mayer said in a Twitter posting late on Wednesday.
“It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualize using it because I realize that there’s no intellectualizing a word that is so emotionally charged,” he added, saying he would never say the word again.
Mayer, who is currently on a U.S. and Canadian tour to promote his latest album “Battle Studies”, said he thought it was time “to stop trying to be so raw in interviews.”
In the expletive-filled interview for Playboy’s March edition, some of which reportedly took place as Mayer downed malt whisky, the singer sought to refute the media image of him as a womanizer and “douche bag”.
“I’ve been trying to prove to people I‘m not a douche bag by not dating, by keeping my name out of ‘Us Weekly’,” he said.
Yet he described his brief 2006 relationship with Simpson as an addiction. “That girl was like crack cocaine to me...Sexually, it was crazy. That’s all I’ll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm,” he said. He also said his “biggest dream is to write pornography”.
The March issue of Playboy hits newsstands on February 12, and the interview can be read now on the magazine’s website.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte