Milo Yiannopoulos, the right-wing provocateur who left the spotlight earlier this year in a scandal over sexual comments, says he is planning an "unavoidable" comeback.
Rain-soaked protesters thronged Sixth Avenue in Manhattan Friday morning for a free-speech rally in support of Yiannopoulos, whose book was cancelled by Simon and Schuster in February after comments emerged suggesting he condoned sex with boys as young as 13.
He has laid relatively low since, but a book party Thursday night and the rally Friday marked a step back onto the public stage.
Yiannopoulos told News 4 New York in an exclusive interview that he plans to launch a full multimedia company, including a publishing arm. He says he plans to be "unavoidable" in the future and on every possible platform.
“The next stage is to teach people to be as mischievous and dangerous as me. I am going to have a whole program of lectures and speeches and all sorts of things. Some of them in private venues and some of them in public, like my traditional college talks teaching people to be as dangerous as me," he said.
Yiannopoulos, who was born in Greece and raised in Britain, has long been known for provocative comments about women and Muslims, and made his support for Republican Donald Trump clear in the last presidential election cycle. (He told News 4 he gives Trump a "six out of 10" because the Mexican border wall has not been built yet, but "the moment he puts down that first brick he'll shoot up to 100 percent for me.")
He was the technology editor at Breitbart News before resigning amid the backlash over his comments.
Before that controversy, Yiannopoulos was perhaps best known for getting banned from Twitter for helping to lead an online harassment campaign against comedian and "Ghostbusters" actress Leslie Jones.
Early in February, he was scheduled to give a talk at the University of California, Berkeley, but the speech was cancelled after violent protests.
WAITING FOR 'MESSIAH'
The rain delayed the start of Friday's rally but the crowd did not disperse. Some attendees waited three hours in the downpour to hear him speak, with one referring to the firebrand as his "messiah."
"Anyone who supports Milo, supports free speech," said Alex Gonzalez, another attendee and a Trump supporter.
The rally kicked off with Yiannopoulos making a speech in front of the Simon and Schuster building about the cancellation of his book and the importance of free expression. Following the address he marched with the crowd down Sixth Avenue and across 59th Street to the Time Warner building.
At the Time Warner building the group protested CNN. Several protesters had signs calling the news agency "domestic terrorists" and chanted "CNN is fake news."
Yiannopoulos blasted the network during a second speech, saying "the whole world is laughing at you."
CNN representatives were not immediately available to comment on the protest.