Piers Morgan launching attacks against people on Twitter is not big news – but admitting he regrets them is.
When asked by RadioTimes.com whether there is one tweet that plays on his mind, that makes him think he would like to go back and do things differently, the Good Morning Britain host thought for a long time before answering.
“I remember Lady Gaga saying she had PTSD and stuff and I launched into her and sort of inferred that no one outside the military should really be claiming to get PTSD,” he said.
It was during the backlash when people told Morgan they had PTSD from accidents like car crashes that he said he realised he had been too quick to judge.
He went on to explain that the military background in his family clouded his view and that he now accepts that people outside of the army can suffer from the disorder. “I don’t think I should have been quite so dismissive of everybody,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of military in my family and PTSD is obviously a real problem if you come off a battlefield but I do accept that you can have it in other forms.”
Morgan added that in terms of “the mental health debate in the country I think I’ve been perhaps a little insensitive. I would accept that.”
Lady Gaga revealed that she has PTSD in December 2016, after she was raped at the age of 19 by a man who was 20 years older. It was not long before Morgan took to Twitter to question her admission, tweeting a CNN piece headlined “Lady Gaga: ‘I suffer from PTSD’” with his response: “No, soldiers returning from battlefields do. Enough of this vain-glorious nonsense.”
“I come from a big military family,” he wrote in a second tweet. “It angers me when celebrities start claiming ‘PTSD’ about everything to promote themselves.”
Morgan then proceeded to cast doubt on Lady Gaga and Madonna’s alleged experiences of sexual assault, writing that the two women “have both made ALLEGATIONS of rape many years after the event. No police complaint, no charges, no court case.”
Now, more than a year and a half later, Morgan has conceded that he was “a little too all-encompassingly judgemental” and that the exchange altered his views on mental health.
On the other hand, pointing to the figures of suicides at universities in the UK and the levels of anxiety amongst young people, Morgan said: “Something’s not right. It’s just not right.”
“I’m slightly worried that we talk too much about it and actually put too much stuff into people’s heads,” he said. “It’s not a popular view, but the more you talk about anything the more people tend to ask themselves, ‘Am I suffering from this?’ And sometimes they just need to get a grip of themselves… I’ve got four kids and they all go through difficult periods of feeling anxious about stuff and we just have to have quite to the point conversations, and then they quickly move on.
“I think if I let them wallow too much in their own anxiety and spent the entire time talking about it, it’s harder to come out of it, sometimes… I do think we need to think quite carefully about just how much we talk about this and what effect that might be having, just the general noise levels, in unfortunately increasing the levels of people who think they have got problems. When actually a lot of it is just life. Life’s quite tricky.”
Has he made any moves to apologise to Lady Gaga or discuss the issue further with her?
“I offered to interview her,” he said, referring to another Twitter exchange between them both. “She said to me, ‘Well come and interview me about it,’ and actually I said yes.”
Lady Gaga did tweet, however, that she would pull out of the interview and speak to someone else if Morgan continued to publicly shame her.
“We haven’t done the interview,” said Morgan, “but it might be quite an interesting interview because I wouldn’t come at it the way she fears, which is with a clunking journalistic fist, I’d actually be more interested in having a proper conversation.”
Serial Killer with Piers Morgan airs on Thursday 13th September at 9pm on ITV