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Jonah Hill Gets Real On 'Tonight Show' With Powerful Apology

06/04/2014 02:56 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Things just got real.

On Tuesday, "22 Jump Street" star Jonah Hill stopped by "The Tonight Show," and rather than promote his new movie right away, he got things off to a very sobering start first.

Over the weekend, Hill was caught on tape using a homophobic slur on a paparazzo, and he asked host Jimmy Fallon if he could take a moment to address the situation with "The Tonight Show" audience.

"My heart’s broken, and I genuinely am deeply sorry to anyone who’s been affected by that term in their life. I'm sorry, and I don’t deserve or expect your forgiveness."

"Unfortunately, this isn't a joke," Hill began as he revealed the circumstances that led to the incident. The actor recalled how the paparazzo in question had been following him all day, calling him names and attacking him personally until he just couldn't take it any more.

"In response, I wanted to hurt him back, and I said the most hurtful word that I could think of at that moment," Hill admitted.

Though he claims he didn't mean the term in a homophobic way, the actor went on to say, "Words have weight and meaning, and the word I chose was grotesque. And no one deserves to say or hear words like that."

Hill has been a staunch supporter of gay rights throughout his career, even speaking out against Russia's anti-gay laws amid the controversy surrounding the Sochi Olympics.

"My heart's broken, and I genuinely am deeply sorry to anyone who’s been affected by that term in their life. I'm sorry, and I don’t deserve or expect your forgiveness," said Hill.

Hill finished his apology by urging young people to use him as an example of what not to do, saying that using hatred and anger just "adds more ugliness to the world."

Watch the full video above.

"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

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