MANILA - Daniel Padilla said his onscreen partner and rumored girlfriend Kathryn Bernardo has forgiven him after the circulation of an audio clip that triggered speculation about the teen heartthrob's relationship with his film co-star Jasmine Curtis-Smith.
The 19-year-old actor finally spoke at length about the so-called "audio scandal" on Monday on the sidelines of a ticket-selling event for the "Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs finals night, which will be held on September 28 at the Araneta Coliseum.
While Padilla did not confirm that one of the voices heard in the viral clip was his, nor that the conversation pertained to Curtis-Smith, he admitted that Bernardo was hurt by the turn of events over the weekend.
He added that he has asked for Bernardo's forgiveness.
"Lahat naman tayo, alam naman natin na talagang nalungkot si Kathryn, dahil misunderstanding, eh. Na-explain ko na lahat, naintindihan niya naman," he said.
Referring to his and Bernardo's moment on stage at Bench's "The Naked Truth" fashion show last Saturday, Padilla said: "Iyong yakap na 'yon ay talagang pagpapasalamat na pinatawad niya ako. Talagang kami ay back to normal kaya masayang-masaya ako."
The young actor added: "Wala, eh. Doon lang ako nagkamali. Lalaki ako, eh."
Stop mudslinging, Daniel urges fans
In the secretly recorded audio clip, supposedly of Padilla's conversation with a number of friends, a voice tagged as the actor's seemed to express excitement about receiving a text message.
Just before the end the 90-second clip, which went viral over the weekend, a voice is heard saying: "Wala na si Patrick. Wala nang mangugulo sa 'kin. Wala na 'yung tropa ni Sam."
This triggered speculation that the "Sam" being referred to in the supposed "scandal" was Concepcion, who confirmed his relationship with Curtis-Smith in April.
Since the clip started to circulate online, Curtis-Smith admitted she has been getting criticisms from people claiming to be fans of Padilla and Bernardo.
At one point, Curtis-Smith's older sister, Anne, came to the "Dementia" actress' defense when a supposed fan of Bernardo called her a slut over her ties with Padilla.
"You know nothing sweety," Anne told the Instagram user. "My sister is not a slut… Such harsh words from someone who doesn't know her or probably has never met her."
While Padilla did not directly mention Curtis-Smith or Concepcion, Padilla asked his fans to refrain from further disparaging anyone's name to supposedly defend his tandem with Bernardo.
"Huwag na po tayo mangdamay ng ibang tao, dahil ako mismo, nalulungkot," he said. "Huwag na po natin idamay, 'yung mga nang a-ano sa mga social network, tigilan po natin. Hindi po 'yan maganda."
Padilla added: "Kung may sisisihin dito, ako lang siguro 'yon. Ako na lang po, huwag na lang po iba."
Curtis-Smith has since confirmed exchanging text messages with Padilla, her co-star in the upcoming Metro Manila Film Festival entry "Bonifacio Ang Unang Pangulo." The 20-year-old actress emphasized, however, that Padilla only asked about the condition of her father, James Earnest, who recently underwent an operation.
She also assured fans of Bernardo and Padilla that she has no intentions of getting in between the teen stars, who have openly showed affection for each other.
Learning from mistake
Admittedly, Padilla said he was disheartened by the "audio scandal."
Referring to his detractors, who he suspects were behind the viral clip, the actor said: "Ngayon, medyo nabigyan nila ako. Magaling sila. Magaling sila sa round na 'to, pero babawi tayo sa second round... Joke lang 'yun!"
Turning serious, Padilla expressed regret that one of his friends could be the one who recorded their conversation and uploaded it online.
"Wala, eh. Gano'n talaga, eh," he said. "Kahit kanino nangyayari. Sa Diyos nga, 'di ba, ginano'n. Ako pa ba? We are not really that close, pero still a friend. Nangyayari talaga. Hindi ko naman alam."
Padilla said the episode has strengthened him and that he has learned from it. The actor added he gets by by reminding himself that other people have worse problems to confront.
"Okay lang ako. Talagang lahat, pinagdadaanan 'yan. Isipin nalang natin na may mga taong mas mararami pang malalim na problema kaysa sa atin," he said.
"Ako, nagpapasalamat nalang ako sa Diyos na binigyan niya ako ng ganitong problema. At least ako, talagang tumatag ako lalo. Sa pagdadasal, lalo kong [napalakas ang] sa faith ko sa Diyos. Nagpapasalamat ako dahil natututo ka sa mga pagkakamali."