Janez Vermeiren and Bradley van den Berg
Former Mambaonline Sexiest Man winner and television host Janez Vermeiren has responded to recent claims that he is gay and involved with a male colleague.
The rumours originated on gossip blogger Mika’s Stefano’s site after Stefano was sent pictures from an unidentified source of Vermeiren on location with openly-gay television director Bradley van den Berg.
Although the pictures simply show the two men with their arms around each other, Stefano speculated that they were romantically involved. “Could this be Janez’s boyfriend?”, he asked, adding, “It’s about time we had a sexy hunky gay celeb…”.
The story was picked up by Women24, which published the pictures and also suggested that Vermeiren could be gay.
“Word on the street is that Top Billing hottie Janez Vermuilen [sic] might be gay. We must admit, we’re a little heartbroken,” said the site.
Vermeiren, who identifies as straight, responded to the rumours on Women24 in an attempt to clear up the situation.
“So sorry that I’m not one of those homophobic types,” said Vermeiren.
He explained that Van den Berg “has been a close friend for many years and also my director for all Top Billing and Top Travel shoots over the past 4 years”.
“Oh and by the way I also have a six year old son and a girlfriend that I love dearly,” he added.
Last year, Heat magazine speculated about Vermeiren’s sexuality after he was photographed with two gay male models in Paris.
After winning the 2007 Mambaonline Sexiest Man title, Vermeiren told Mambaonline: “I’ve… got a lot of gay friends. I work with a lot of gay people in the modelling industry. A lot of people in the film industry are gay so I’m very comfortable with that.”