John Cleese Says His Remark That He 'Loathed and Despised' “Monty Python” Costar Eric Idle 'Was a Joke'

Cleese says his comment was not sincere, and referred to not just Idle but "all the members" of the iconic comedy troupe

<p>Anthony Harvey/Getty Images</p>  Eric Idle and John Cleese in 2014.

Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Eric Idle and John Cleese in 2014.

John Cleese says his headline-making comments about Monty Python costar Eric Idle were taken too literally.

The actor and comedian, 84, took to X (formerly Twitter) to clarify a post he made the previous day after a fan asked Cleese if he and the other “Pythons” (Cleese, Idle, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones and Michael Palin) had fallen out of touch.

In response to the post, Cleese wrote, “We always loathed and despised each other, but it's only recently that the truth has begun to emerge.”

Cleese’s Feb. 13 post was picked up by several news outlets, who framed his remark as part of a larger feud with Idle, 80, specifically. According to Cleese, the statement was actually directed at all of the Pythons, and was purely comedic.

Related: 'Monty Python' 's Eric Idle Survives Pancreatic Cancer After Early Detection: 'We Are Starting to Fight Back'

Clarifying the comment on X on Feb. 14, he wrote, “I've just seen the Press Association release” and “they got it totally wrong.”

He added that his “remark about 'loathing and despising each other' " referred to not just Idle but “all the members of the group” and “was a joke.”

“I would have expected PA staff to have 1. An understanding of irony 2. A sense of humour,” he added.

<p>Radio Times via Getty Images</p> Eric Idle and John Cleese on 'Monty Python's Flying Circus.'

Radio Times via Getty Images

Eric Idle and John Cleese on 'Monty Python's Flying Circus.'

Cleese’s initial Python remarks came days after Idle sparked a discussion online about his financial situation, debunking the idea that he is “loaded” from the iconic comedy troupe’s success.

“I don’t know why people always assume we’re loaded. Python is a disaster,” Idle wrote on Feb. 9. “Spamalot made money 20 years ago. I have to work for my living. Not easy at this age.”

Related: 'Spamalot' Revival to Open on Broadway This Fall: 'We Need a Good Laugh'

After a fan stated that they weren’t sure if Idle was joking about his financial security, the comedian responded with claims that Holly Gilliam, Terry Gilliam’s daughter, had something to do with the troupe’s lack of revenue.

“We own everything we ever made in ‘Python’ and I never dreamed that at this age the income streams would tail off so disastrously,” he wrote. “But I guess if you put a Gilliam child in as your manager you should not be so surprised. One Gilliam is bad enough. Two can take out any company.”

Idle’s claims about the Pythons’ financial situation and digs at Terry, 83, and Holly prompted Cleese to assure his own fans that he is doing okay financially. On Feb. 13, Cleese shared a post listing all of his upcoming gigs, writing that “several of my Twits have expressed [concern] about my finances.”

"So...not to worry,” he ended the post, and added a reference to Idle’s comments about Terry’s daughter by mentioning his own: “BTW, Camilla Cleese is involved in seven of these.”

Also on Feb. 13, Cleese defended Holly directly, writing, “I have worked with Holly for the last ten years, and I find her very efficient, clear-minded, hard-working, and pleasant to have dealings with. Michael Palin has asked me to make it clear that he shares this opinion. Terry Gilliam is also in agreement with this.”

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.

And while Cleese and Idle appear to disagree about the way the Pythons’ finances have been managed, Idle did share a post clarifying that despite their feud on X, he still admires Cleese as a comedian.

Responding to a fan who recalled Idle referring to his fellow Python as “the great John Cleese” in a book, Idle wrote, “I never said he wasn’t funny. He was. Hilarious. 61 years.”

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.