Jessica Biel recalls how she stunned '7th Heaven' cast and crew with topless pic: 'It just went a little awry'

Jessica Biel said she was “always apologizing” to her cast and crew while working on “7th Heaven,” the wholesome show about a minister and his family that ran from 1996 to 2007. Biel memorably posed topless for Gear magazine in a sexy photoshoot that was released on her 18th birthday. The starlet recently said on the “Awards Chatter” podcast she may have made a mistake with the racy pics.

According to E! News, Justin Timberlake’s famous wife told the podcast it was awkward going to the “7th Heaven” set after the magazine came out. She recalled saying sorry to showrunner Aaron Spelling for the racy snaps.

"I certainly had to apologize to Aaron Spelling. I think my entire crew and cast were, needless to say, shocked," she said. "The worst part was I had to go back to work. The thing comes out and literally I had to go back to work that next morning. Everybody was… they didn't know if they should look me in the eye and I was just a mess. I didn't…you're young. You don't mean to hurt people. You don't mean to do this."

Jessica Biel's risque cover shoot for Gear magazine was highly criticized at the time because the actress was 17.

Jessica Biel's risque cover shoot for Gear magazine was highly criticized at the time because the actress was 17.

Biel said the photoshoot was not a calculated move to break her good girl persona.

"It definitely wasn't a calculated move on my part. I was not that smart to be making these calculated moves," she said laughing. "I think I was 17, I'm a woman now, I'm a grown up now. I'm sexy, you know? This type of vibe and honestly, it just went a little awry. It definitely never was meant to be some shocking, exposing situation and whether it was my own sort of… ability to try to be my own person by myself… confident woman. I said yes to things that probably I should've said no to. It was just one of those things that got out of hand."

The actress, now 36, said she struggled with the family-friendly show’s restrictions and “limitations.” Biel remembered wanting to take the character farther than the show would allow. One example that came to mind was when she famously decided to cut her hair.

"I think I definitely sort of butted up against those limitations and those boundaries for a multitude of reasons. Because, yeah you know, you can only do so much with a particular character specifically on a show like that," she recalled. "We really had to sort of stay in the boundaries of a somewhat religious family and teaching lessons, and when… you're…. 14, 15, 16, you get to a point when you're like ‘Oh man, I just want to do something different. I just want to cut my hair, and I just want to dye it a different color and I can't do all these things because I have this contract.’"

She added, "I did cut my hair and I got in a lot of trouble for that. I had to apologize to everybody, which is sort of the theme of my experience on ‘7th Heaven.’ I was always apologizing."

The star ultimately left the show before its conclusion. She was a series regular from seasons 1 to 6 but dropped to recurring character in season 7 and made brief guest appearances in 8 and 10.

Biel said her minor rebellion on the series was nothing compared to what stars in this day and age would do.

“We were angels," she said of her cast mates. "We were really."