"Parade magazine did a kind of a sneaky thing and put it on their website that I said this," John told Chicago's WGN-TV.
According to John, he made the comment "as part of the conversation during the interview," but he apparently didn't think this was going to be included in the article.
"I don't really want to cause a controversy, and I didn't know it was going to be a sidebar to an article that was a great article, and I think Parade have been a bit sneaky about that" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t HotAirPundit):
ELTON JOHN: Well, let me clarify the situation first of all. It's not actually in the interview in Parade magazine. Parade magazine did a kind of a sneaky thing and put it on their website that I said this. And I, I might have said this as part of the conversation during the interview. And the interviewer did a wonderful job. And I'm very, very happy with the article in Parade magazine. I think everybody's individual faith is their own business, and I do believe in Jesus, and I believe that he was a compassionate person, and I see him as, from my point of view, and that's just my point of view, and I'm not, as a compassionate gay person. Someone who was persecuted. Someone who forgave people. And, and that's how I see him. He could have easily been Jeannie White, Ryan White's mother, you know, who went through that awful thing. It's just I identify in my mind as someone like that...Everybody's idea of faith is their own business. And I think as long as you do believe in someone wonderful, and someone who was such a great person as Jesus Christ, and someone who was compassionate and forgiving, then that's all I'm saying. I'm not saying to everyone that he definitely was gay. That's how I see him. That's my idea of faith.
Everyone has their own idea. If I offended anybody, I don't see why they should be offended by it because I'm not saying that's how he definitely was. And, you know, we each have our own idea of what religion should be and our faith should be. And I, I do believe in Jesus Christ, and I do believe he was a wonderful man. And that's my view of him. And, and I don't, I don't really want to cause a controversy, and I didn't know it was going to be a sidebar to an article that was a great article. And I think Parade have been a bit sneaky about that. But I can't do anything about it, and I'm afraid I'm a bit of a lightning rod for these situations.
Exit question: who's REALLY being sneaky?