Michael Bay is firing back at claims that he body shamed Kate Beckinsale when he cast her in "Pearl Harbor."
"Kate and I are friendly. She is a fantastic actress, very funny, witty lady, sassy, speaks her mind, and I truly respect her," Bay wrote in a post on his website on Wednesday. "That’s why she has come to so many of my Christmas parties and Birthday parties."
The 42-year-old actress appeared on "The Graham Norton Show" last week, where she revealed that she was instructed to hit the gym before filming the 2001 World War II drama, which Bay directed.
"I don't think I fitted the type of actress Michael Bay, the director, had met before," Beckinsale explained. "I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren't bigger than my head and I wasn't blonde."
She added, "I'd just had my daughter [Lily Sheen] and had lost weight, but was told that if I got the part I'd have to work out, and I just didn't understand why a 1940s nurse would do that."
After the sit-down interview, Beckinsale's story generated a great deal of outrage toward the divisive 51-year-old filmmaker. In his post, Bay blamed the backlash on a "tabloid-esque reporter" who supposedly wrote a negative headline based on Beckinsale's anecdote.
"Kate appeared on an edgy English talk show, speaking about our meeting 16 years ago," Bay wrote. "The reporter made her story into some scandalous confrontation, when it was nothing of the sort. Spoke to Kate today and she felt she told a funny story."
The "Transformers" director also took umbrage with the idea that he doesn't find the "Underworld" actress to be "a stunning beauty," calling such reports "totally untrue."
During her interview with Norton, the actress recounted that, while promoting the Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett-led war film, Bay told reporters that he chose her for the part because she "wasn't so attractive that she would alienate the female audience."
In the conclusion of his post, Bay defended the suggestion he made to Beckinsale while casting "Pearl Harbor," explaining, "I guess I was the 'bad guy' 16 years ago for suggesting a trainer because she just had her new beautiful baby girl—and she was about to enter into an intensive action movie. Note to reporters: 95% of leads in movies have trainers and drink green juice!"