James Arthur speaks out on past homophobic comments

The X Factor says his words were 'taken out of context'

James Arthur has spoken out about his past homophobic claims, claiming that his words were ‘taken out of context’.

The X Factor winner made headlines back in 2013 when embroiled in a feud with rapper Micky Worthless, in which Arthur responded with a rap slamming him as a ‘fucking queer’ and urged him to ‘shoot himself’. He later apologised and said he was ‘extremely disappointed in himself’.

Now, Arthur currently holds the No.1 single spot with ‘Say You Won’t let Go’, and has again apologised for his past behaviour.

Read more: James Arthur’s rise, fall and rise again

“My music is about love and I don’t discriminate against any type of person,” he told BBC Newsbeat. “It was taken out of context and I didn’t mean to offend anyone at all. But I make no excuses and I dealt with the whole thing in the wrong way.”

Opening up about his battles with depression and anxiety, Arthur continued: “It’s something that’s become part of my life. At one time it was horrendous and I didn’t know what it was. I go through these episodes where I can’t breathe and I feel like I’m having a heart attack.”

“I got really lost and my family could all see it. There was no getting through to me I was just buried in self-loathing and doing all the wrong things.”

He added: “I thought I was going to die and the way I dealt with it was by self-medicating and taking more medication than I should have been. I was smoking lots of cannabis. Way more than anyone should have been.”

“I was out of control.”

Earlier this year, Arthur opened about the extent of his ‘suicidal feelings’ following his career slump and being dropped by Simon Cowell’s label SYCO.