'Cougar Town's' Josh Hopkins Talks Jen Aniston Rumors

Access Hollywood
Jennifer Aniston, Josh Hopkins -- ABC

"Cougar Town" star Josh Hopkins has spoken out about the rumors earlier this year that linked him - romantically - to Jennifer Aniston.

A few months ago, when Jennifer filmed a guest starring role on her best pal Courteney Cox's show "Cougar Town," a dinner out with Josh, who stars as neighbor Grayson, prompted a flurry of headlines and rumors the two were seeing each other. Now, in an interview with Parade.com, Josh said the headlines hurt.

"That was really, really weird and hurtful. I've been working in this business for a long time and it's the first time I've ever found myself caught up in the middle of tabloid journalism," he told Parade.com. "It was eye opening to see that a publication could pick up a story from a completely fabricated, unnamed source and create a so-called story. It was just because of one picture. And in this day and age, it gets picked up on the Internet and blogosphere and gets perpetuated, and it just grows like wildfire."

The actor, who plays Courteney's love interest on the ABC comedy, said the headlines suggesting he was romancing Jennifer were very uncomfortable.

"Just like anything, the further you get away from it with time you forget, people forget. But honestly, it just felt dirty and invasive," he said. "It gave me so much empathy for real celebrities, people that have lived with this frenzied scrutiny for their entire life. I don't know how some people keep from getting completely jaded and fearful. It's a testament to some of the real people who have to really deal with this because it was disturbing for me for just a little while."

Josh said the "Cougar Town" set is a good place to escape since he works with people who understand how rumors can get out of control.

"It's sort of a time to get away from it [gossip] and everyone here at least has an understanding of how twisted it is, which would be hard to have an understanding of if you hadn't experienced it on a personal level. It's one thing to read something outrageous, it's another thing to see something outrageous about yourself and then have people that are just gonna form opinions about you on just completely random, false, made up information," he said. "So I think when we're here, we just get away from all that. But sometimes something really bizarre, that it's almost funny, comes out. Like 'Courteney Cox has three-headed baby,' you know, totally weird, then we'll bring it up like, 'Did you see this?'"

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