West said Monday night that he knew he was wrong as soon as he handed the microphone back to Swift. He had interrupted Swift on Sunday night as she accepted a best female video award to argue that Beyoncé was more deserving.
West told Leno: "It was rude, period."
The rap star had already apologized twice to Swift on his blog and said he wants to apologize in person. He says he wants to take time off and analyze "how I'm going to make it through the rest of this life."
Meanwhile, the consensus among fellow celebs Monday was: You're a jerk, Kanye.
Celebrity Web site TMZ.com collected some colorful Twitter updates, edited here for a family newspaper:
Pink: Kanye west is the biggest piece of -- on earth. Quote me.
Katy Perry: IT'S LIKE U STEPPED 0N A KITTEN.
Joel Madden: You were just a bully on that one man.
Adam Lambert: Kanye needs to chill. He freaks out every year. It ain't that deep man.
Kelly Clarkson posted this on her blog: "I just pity you because you're a sad human being."
But West had one defender. VMA host Russell Brand said Monday: "We're just people; we all do things that are a bit silly sometimes," he said. "Calm down; no one died."