Milo Yiannopoulos resigns from Breitbart News, apologizes for child abuse comments

Controversial alt-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned from Breitbart News following the release of videos in which he appears to endorse pedophilia.

Former editor under fire for comments allegedly endorsing pedophilia

Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned as tech editor of Breitbart after coming under fire over comments on sexual relationships between boys and older men. (Seth Wenig/Associated Press)

Controversial alt-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned from Breitbart News following the release of videos in which he appears to endorse pedophilia, comments he says were misconstrued.

He made the announcement that he was no longer working as an editor for the website at a news conference during which he apologized for comments that "might have come across as flippancy, or lack of care about other victims."

A company statement from Breitbart said Yiannopoulos's "bold voice has sparked much-needed debate on important cultural topics confronting universities, the LGBTQ community, the press, and the tech industry."

The news conference was held one day after Yiannopoulos lost his book deal and was uninvited to speak at an event held by the American Conservative Union.

On Sunday the conservative Reagan Battalion blog tweeted video clips — believed to be from during a "Drunken Peasants" podcast featuring comedian Joe Rogan — in which Yiannopoulos discussed Jews, sexual consent, statutory rape, child abuse and homosexuality.

In one clip, Yiannopoulos defends sexual relationships between men and boys as young as 13 years old. He also speaks approvingly of his own sexual relationship with a 29-year-old priest when he was 17. The age of consent in the United Kingdom is 16.

"In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of 'coming of age' relationship — those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable sort of rock where they can't speak to their parents," he said in one video.

'Media witch hunt'

At the news conference, Yiannopoulos said he was speaking from his experience of being involved with an older man. 

As a survivor of sexual abuse, he said, "I believed I could say whatever I wanted on the subject."

He clarified that he doesn't condone sex with 13-year-olds or lowering the age of consent from 16.

He said the release of the videos, which were filmed a year ago, was politically motivated and a "cynical media witch hunt."

Simon & Schuster and its Threshold Editions imprint announced Monday it would not publish Yiannopoulos's upcoming autobiography Dangerous.

Yiannopoulos told reporters that other publishers are interested in his book and it will still be released this year. He said he will donate 10 per cent of the profits from the book to child abuse charities.

He also said he intends to embark on a speaking tour called Troll Academy Tour.

"I will be doubling down on education and entertainment and see where it takes me in the next year," he said. 

Yiannopoulos is known for his vicious criticism of women and Muslims, among others. Last summer, he helped instigate a harassment campaign against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones that led to his banishment from Twitter.

With files from The Associated Press