The U.S. Navy late Monday denied an NBC News report that Capt. Owen Honors was temporarily relieved of his command over a raunchy videos scandal, in a statement obtained by Fox News Channel.
"I am not sure where NBC got their information, but it is absolutely not true. No decision has been made, and no official updates to Navy's statement have been made," Commander Chris Sims, spokesman at Fleet Forces Command, said.
"Sorry for the confusion NBC has created tonight."
"Navy will be providing an update on where the investigation stands tomorrow," Sims added.
The denial came after revelations of an investigation into a series of raunchy videos made and shown on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise while Honors was serving in a top leadership position on the vessel
The films were broadcast to the ship's nearly 6,000 sailors and Marines in 2006 and 2007 with the cooperation of the current commander Captain Owen Honors. Honors was the commanding officer's deputy at the time.
The videos included two female Navy sailors showering together aboard the aircraft carrier and pretending to wash one other, sailors in drag, anti-gay slurs and a scene implying that an officer was having sex with a donkey.
The U.S. Navy released a strongly worded statement late Sunday in response to a series of what it deemed "clearly inappropriate" raunchy videos.
"Production of videos, like the ones produced four to five years ago on USS Enterprise and now being written about in The Virginian-Pilot, were not acceptable then and are not acceptable in today's Navy," the statement said, in reference to the newspaper that obtained the videos last week.
It continued: "The Navy does not endorse or condone these kinds of actions. Those in command, Commanding Officers, Executive Officers, and Command Master Chiefs (the command triad) are charged to lead by example and are held accountable for setting the proper tone and upholding the standards of honor, courage and commitment that we expect sailors to exemplify."
Sailors used Facebook Monday to leap to the captain's defense, praising Honors' leadership at sea his ability to provide "comic relief," according to ABC News.
"Capt. Honors brought up our moral (sic) and provided well needed and appreciated comic relief," Chief Petty Officer Andrew Hodyl commented. "We were underway for long durations, supporting two theaters of war simultaneously, he brought many smiles to a worn out & tired crew," he wrote.
"We all looked forward to those videos from Honors while underway. We cannot ruin a good man's career for the sake of petty political correctness," Shaun Valentine posted.
"I served on Enterprise for the last three years of my 21 year Navy Career. I would love to go to sea with a man like this that can lighten up an extremely stressful job," Gordon Wilcox wrote.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that the videos had been shot and edited with government equipment, many while the carrier was deployed supporting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The newspaper said it was told by several sailors who were assigned to the Enterprise that the tapes were shown roughly once a week on closed-circuit, ship-wide television.