Hayden Panettiere Defends Her Own Honor

By: Betsy Waldman / March 13, 2009

Hayden Panettiere wants the world to know that she’s gotten a bad rap lately.

The 19-year-old Heroes actress came under fire in the media this week, first for lashing out at journalists during a fundraiser in Hawaii (“You all make my life miserable,” she told reporters), then for appearing to sabotage the career of Heroes co-star and ex-boyfriend, Milo Ventimiglia.

But the beleaguered starlet tells OK! Magazine that reports of her surliness and vindictiveness are greatly exaggerated.

“Milo and I are very close,” Panettiere insists. “We have enjoyed and continue to enjoy working together.”

Panettiere goes on to address the Hawaii fracas. “While in Hawaii, one reporter grabbed me suddenly from behind and frightened me,” Panettiere explains. “It happens. Typically, the press has treated me with great respect.”

The on-screen cheerleader adds, “I have tremendous respect for the media and reporters—particularly the press who treat the people they are interviewing with dignity. I am appreciative that the press has supported me, my career, and especially the causes I feel passionately about.”

Have your say in the comments section: Do you think Hayden has been misunderstood, or is she just trying to polish her tarnished image?