Australian columnist admits mistakes in Rebel Wilson 'outing' controversy

Rebel Wilson (R) and Ramona Agruma attend Operation Smile's 10th Annual Park City Ski Challenge on April 2 in Park City, Utah.

Brisbane, Australia (CNN)An Australian newspaper columnist has apologized for a story that appeared to accuse actor Rebel Wilson of spoiling his attempts to out her as gay.

In a new column published Monday, Sydney Morning Herald journalist Andrew Hornery says he did not seek to "out" the star, but understands why his email giving a deadline for comment on Wilson's new partner "could have been seen as a threat."
The original story, published on Saturday, prompted outrage on social media, as did a follow up article from the newspaper's editor, who defended the columnist and denied the paper had "outed Wilson."
    In Saturday's story, Hornery said he approached Wilson's representatives on Thursday morning with a request for comment on the actor's new relationship with LA leisure wear designer Romana Agruma. He said he gave them "two days to comment."
      "Big mistake," Hornery wrote in the Private Sydney column on Saturday. "Wilson opted to gazump the story" (gazump is a British-Australian slang term suggesting one person has unfairly outbid or beaten the other).
      He was referring to an image Wilson posted to Instagram Friday morning showing herself and Agruma with the words: "I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince... but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess #loveislove."
      The post received thousands of congratulatory comments, but Hornery's column on Saturday suggested he wasn't happy with the actor's post.