YouTube star Logan Paul has said he is ashamed and does not expect to be forgiven after posting a video featuring the body of a suicide victim.
The vlogger earlier published a written statement to social media, but has faced continued criticism over the incident and his initial response.
In his latest statement, US star Paul said: “I’ve made a severe and continuous lapse in my judgement and I don’t expect to be forgiven, I’m simply here to apologise.
“I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down and stopped recording what we were going through – there’s a lot of things I should have done differently, but I didn’t.
“And for that, from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.
Paul also promised to be better, and urged fans not to defend his actions.
“I want to apologise to anyone who has seen the video. I want to apologise to anyone who has been affected or touched by mental illness or depression or suicide, but most importantly I want to apologise to the victim and his family.” he said.
“For my fans who are defending my actions, please don’t – they do not deserve to be defended.
“The goal with my content is always to entertain, to push the boundaries, to be all inclusive, and the world I live in I share almost everything I do.
“The intent is never to be heartless, cruel or malicious.
“I’m disappointed in myself, and I promise to be better. I will be better.”
In its own statement, YouTube condemned graphic and disrespectful content on its platform.
The Google-owned video site said Paul’s video violated its policies, but has not responded to calls from angry parents and celebrities to suspend the US-based star from the site.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video,” a YouTube spokeswoman said.
“YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner. If a video is graphic, it can only remain on the site when supported by appropriate educational or documentary information and in some cases it will be age-gated.
“We partner with safety groups such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to provide educational resources that are incorporated in our YouTube Safety Centre.”
The video site added that it issued strikes to channels when it removes videos for violating its community standards, but has not yet confirmed if Paul received one as he removed the video himself.
The clip uploaded by Paul, which had millions of views on YouTube before it was taken down, showed the vlogger and his friends discovering a dead body in Japan’s Aokigahara Forest – which is known to be a frequent site of suicides.
After the video was removed, Paul – who has 15 million YouTube subscribers – posted a written apology to Twitter, saying his intention was to “raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention”.
But the initial statement was criticised by many, including Game Of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, who wrote: “@LoganPaul You’re an idiot. You’re not raising awareness. You’re mocking. I can’t believe how self-praising your ‘apology’ is. You don’t deserve the success (views) you have. I pray to God you never have to experience anything like that man did.”
Labour MP Melanie Onn, who had tweeted that she bought a Logan Paul hoodie as a Christmas present for her 10-year-old son, said the video was “dreadful”, adding: “I can’t believe he was able to put that up without any checks at all.”
The shadow housing minister said she was relieved her son did not see the footage, and said the backlash to Paul’s video “should shape his future actions and decision-making”.
“He is a role model to young, impressionable people worldwide, whether he realised that or not, he should always consider that before posting,” said Ms Onn.