"I don't have the whole story, but, I do know that, after being in this business 20 years, it's really crummy that you get attacked in your personal life in general," the Jenny McCarthy Show host and author exclusively told E! News today.
Well, the story in a nutshell is that Reed, in panning Identity Thief in the New York Observer, referred to "tractor-sized Melissa McCarthy" and called the Oscar-nominated actress a "gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success."
"That's obnoxious in itself," McCarthy told us. "For anyone to attack like that, it's just wrong and hurtful, and it doesn't do anyone any good—not even Rex Reed, you know?"
After getting slammed for his nasty remarks from various corners—including Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, who tweeted, "For his catty and school bully name-calling of the supremely talented Melissa McCarthy, I cordially invite Mr. Rex Reed to go f--k himself"—the critic addressed the backlash this morning.
"My point was that I object to using health issues like obesity as comic talking points," Reed told WOR 710's Mark Simone. "She is basing her career on being obnoxious and being overweight. And I don't think that's funny. I have too many friends that have died of obesity-related illnesses, heart problems and diabetes, and I have actually lost friends to this...I don't care how much she weighs. I don't care how much Melissa McCarthy weighs. She wants to be fat? Mark, she's crying all the way to the bank."
Jenny McCarthy, for one, doesn't care what Reed meant, saying of her cousin, "She's very very talented and people know that, so...He can go to hell."
—Reporting by Will Marfuggi