'Green Book' Director Peter Farrelly Apologizes for Past Genital-Flashing

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for National Board of Review

After a 1998 story detailing the director's previous "joke" was uncovered, Farrelly admitted he's "embarrassed" by his former actions.

Green Book director Peter Farrelly said Wednesday that he's deeply sorry and embarrassed after film website The Cut found a 20-year-old story in which colleagues said Farrelly liked to flash his genitals as a joke.

The Cut published excerpts of a 1998 Newsweek story saying Farrelly and his brother and frequent filmmaking partner, Bobby Farrelly, liked to use ruses to get people to look at Farrelly's penis.

Farrelly, through his publicists, said the stories' descriptions are true.

"I was an idiot," Farrelly said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "I did this decades ago, and I thought I was being funny, and the truth is I'm embarrassed, and it makes me cringe now. I'm deeply sorry."

Those who told Newsweek they'd been tricked included film executive Tom Rothman and actress Cameron Diaz, who was starring in the Farrelly brothers' comedy There's Something About Mary at the time.

Green Book, which stars Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen as a black concert pianist and his Italian-American driver, respectively, who become unlikely friends, won a Golden Globe Award on Sunday for best musical or comedy motion picture.