Firebrand Milo quits Breitbart News after child sex remarks

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 21, 2017 4:30 PM

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Provocative far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos resigned on Tuesday as an editor of the Breitbart News website after he was vilified and lost a book deal over old comments that condoned at least some intimate relations between men and young teenage boys.

Yiannopoulos thanked the site for letting him transmit conservative and libertarian ideas to an audience that otherwise would never have heard them, but said he did not want his "poor choice of words" to detract from his colleagues' important work.

"This is my decision alone," he told a news conference in New York city. "When your friends have done right by you, you do right by them. For me, now, that means stepping aside."

Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter last year after making remarks on race, religion and sex that incited racial attacks on an African-American actress. On Feb. 1, violent protesters forced the cancellation of a speech he was due to give at the University of California at Berkeley.

On Monday, organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, rescinded an invite for him to speak at the annual event after an internet video of him recirculated in which he discusses pedophilia.

The latest controversy stemmed from a video in which Yiannopoulos seems to suggest the standard for pedophilia is whether the younger partner has gone through puberty.

On Tuesday, he told reporters he was sexually abused between the ages of 13 and 16 by two men, but that he did not realize at the time it was abuse.

"I can look back now and see that it was," Yiannopoulos said. "My experience as a victim led me to believe that I could say anything on the subject. ... I don't believe that sex with 13 year olds is OK."

Book publisher Simon & Schuster said on Monday it canceled the publication of Yiannopoulos' book "Dangerous," which was due out on June 13.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Daniel Wallis and David Gregorio)