First, Jonas Brothers frontman Joe Jonas came to Miley Cyrus’ defense , after snapshots showing her in her bra and underwear surfaced online. Now it seems that Hilary Duff is in the “Hannah Montana” star’s corner too.
Tween star Duff told People.com that she’s not about to pass judgment on the 15-year-old pop sensation — and Disney’s main moneymaker — just days after Cyrus issued a statement apologizing both for the controversial photos and for ones she’d taken for an upcoming Vanity Fair spread. Cyrus, who expressed embarrassment over the pictures, appears to be topless in the images, which were shot by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz.
In the statement, Cyrus said, “The pictures of me on the Internet were silly, inappropriate shots. I appreciate all the support of my fans, and hope they understand that along the way I am going to make mistakes and I am not perfect. I never intended for any of this to happen, and I am truly sorry if I have disappointed anyone. Most of all, I have let myself down. I will learn from my mistakes and trust my support team. My family and my faith will guide me through my life’s journey.”
“Everyone goes through things and takes their own path,” Duff told People during a junket promoting her upcoming film, “War Inc.” “Who am I to judge decisions that she made?”
Duff, however, said she would never elect to follow Cyrus’ lead. “People are pushing you to do something, and if you want to do it, that’s your choice, you know?” she said. “It’s not what I would choose to do, but if she did, then that’s fine. That’s her choice.”
Duff — who is 20 and has seemingly managed to evade the same pitfalls that have tarnished the reputations of contemporaries like Vanessa Hudgens , Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears — said she has long relied on her family and friends to guide her professional decisions.
“I’ve had a lot of help from people,” she explained. “It’s a joint effort with my family and everyone helping me balance my life.”
But Duff and Jonas aren’t alone. It seems everyone’s been weighing in on Cyrus’ scandalous snaps, including actress Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Cannon, Rosie O’Donnell and “Hills” stars Heidi Montag, Lauren Conrad and Spencer Pratt. Whether they’re chiming in for some much-needed press or out of genuine concern, we may never know.
Curtis, in an interview with People on Monday, said that she could understand Cyrus’ embarrassment, having taken some topless photos herself recently for a spread in AARP the Magazine — and later took a stab at Miley’s parents, for not looking after their daughter’s best interests.
“I too was a little embarrassed by my recent topless ’scandal’ and the subsequent parodies,” she explained. “But I am an adult woman. I protected myself during the shoot and I can take the heat. I only wish that her guardians had protected her. Of course she is embarrassed. She is a young girl. She shouldn’t have to deal with any of this. I don’t feel that she was duped. I know the integrity of Ms. Leibovitz and the magazine, and I know there were people present at the shoot that should have been looking out to make sure that this didn’t happen.”
O’Donnell also came to Cyrus’ defense, posting a lengthy video on her blog, telling the media to “leave Miley Cyrus alone.” O’Donnell added that working with Leibovitz can be a rather daunting experience. “Listen, Annie Leibovitz — I had two photo shoots with her. You kind of do what she says. It’s intimidating. I also didn’t think it was a pornographic photo in any capacity. I thought it was sort of a beautiful portrait.”
Montag told “Extra” that Cyrus is “a young girl in Hollywood, and she’s just having fun — [she]’s exploring herself.” Pratt didn’t think the photos were “bad” and went so far as to dub them “artistic.” Conrad, for her part, agrees. “I found it a bit silly,” she said. “I thought she looked beautiful in the pictures. I didn’t find it that inappropriate.”
Cannon — who skirted questions about his rumored engagement to Mariah Carey at the MTV News office on Monday — said that he’d yet to see the Vanity Fair pictorial, but that didn’t stop him from commenting on Mileygate. “Is she showing her achy-breaky? Hannah’s got her Montana all the way out?” he asked. “Kids are going to be kids. I’m pretty sure it was something extremely innocent. You media people blow things out of proportion. It’s too much access nowadays. I’m pretty sure every 15-year-old girl has probably done what she did, but now, just because the media can get a hold of it, it just got out there. I’m pretty sure Dolly Parton’s got some old 15-year-old naked pictures too.”