Paris Hilton

Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Paris Hilton has come down with another case of foot-in-mouth disease.

The famed socialite offered up a big mea culpa Thursday after she was caught on an audiotape calling gay men "disgusting" and suggesting they "probably had AIDS" during a late-night cab ride earlier this month while attending New York Fashion Week.

"I am so sorry and so upset that I caused pain to my gay friends, fans and their families," Hilton said in a letter sent to GLAAD and posted on its website. "Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know."

The Confessions of an Heiress author was put on the defensive after RadarOnline posted audio her cab driver apparently recorded in the wee morning hours of Sept. 7 of the 31-year-old Hilton chatting with two model friends about Grindr, a social network app that enables gay men to locate one another for random sex.

"Say I log into Grindr, someone that's on Grindr can be in that building and it tells you all the locations of where they are and you can be like, 'Yo, you wanna f--k?' and he might be on like, the sixth floor," her male companion is heard telling her.

That didn't go over well with the World According to Paris star.

""Ewww! Gay guys are the horniest people in the world," she replied. "They're disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS...I would be so scared if I were a gay guy. You'll like, die of AIDS."

Not long after the clip made headlines, Hilton's rep released a statement to E! News clarifying that Paris' comments were intended "to express that it is dangerous for anyone to have unprotected sex that could lead to a life threatening disease."

The publicist also added that Hilton was discussing Grindr's hookup culture with a close gay friend and "it was not her intent to make any derogatory comments about all gays."

In her apology to GLAAD, the actress-singer-DJ expressed further regret over her poor choice of words considering her previous support of pro-gay issues.

"HIV/AIDS can hurt anyone, gay and straight, men and women. It's something I take very seriously and should not have been thrown around in conversation," she told GLAAD. "Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know…Again, I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart and I feel absolutely horrible."

Hopefully, it's a lesson learned.

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