09/05/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
Johnny Depp has denied inflammatory comments about the United States attributed to him in the German magazine Stern, saying they were taken out of context and that he was misquoted, Reuters reports.
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star was quoted in Stern this week as saying America was "like a dumb puppy" and a "broken toy," and that he would urge his French-based children to explore it and then "get out."
In an apology issued by his publicist, the Kentucky-born Depp said his comment was referring to America being a young, growing nation compared to Europe. He added that he and his family now live in the south of France because his wife, singer Vanessa Paradis, is French.
"I am an American. I love my country and have great hopes for it," Depp's statement reads. "It is for this reason that I speak candidly and sometimes critically about it. I have benefited greatly from the freedom that exists in my country and for this I am eternally grateful."
He went on to say, "My deepest apologies to those who were offended, affected or hurt by this insanely twisted deformation of my words and intent."