James Arthur: ‘I’ve been an idiot’

Singer admits he feels "deep shame" over homophobia row

James Arthur has described himself as an “idiot” and admitted he felt “deep shame” for his behaviour in 2013.

Arthur hit the headlines earlier this year when he released a diss track in response to rapper Micky Worthless, who had previously recorded a song mocking the X Factor winner. Arthur’s song compared Worthless to the Taliban and also described him as “fucking queer”.

He was subsequently criticised by Matt Lucas, Frankie Boyle and more for his lyrics, and temporarily quit Twitter. The singer returned to the social network, however, when former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan shared text messages apparently sent by Arthur following the spat over homophobic lyrics.

Speaking to The Sun, Arthur said: “I’ve been an idiot. All I can say is it was ego – foolish, foolish pride. I got ideas above my station and I made mistakes. It’s the only excuse I’ve got.”

He added: “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.”

Referencing his recent bout of ‘acute exhaustion’, meanwhile, which caused him to cancel a spate of live shows and commitments, he said: “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 fuck have I done?'”

In the interview, Arthur also claimed that releasing the diss track was the “most immature, ridiculous thing I’ve ever done” but claimed that he was “100 million per cent not homophobic”, adding: “”I probably look like the archetypal bully. Now people look at me as if I might beat up a gay guy. That really upsets me. I totally understand what I did was wrong. If I could take it back, I would do that in a heartbeat.”

Earlier this month, Arthur appeared on The X Factor to perform his new song ‘Recovery’ and used the spotlight to apologise for his actions. In November, meanwhile, a leading PR expert has said that James Arthur is “not sophisticated enough” for Twitter.