'Cougar Town' Star Josh Hopkins Calls Jennifer Aniston Dating Rumors "Dirty and Invasive"

We all want Jennifer Aniston to find love -- which is why, whenever Aniston is seen within a three-foot radius of a new man, the gossip mill starts revving up. One of the guys caught in the paparazzi crossfire was Cougar Town's Josh Hopkins, 40, who was spotted sharing a meal with Aniston, 41. Hopkins, naturally, became her speculated boyfriend. The actress was filming her guest appearance on pal Courteney Cox's show at the time, and according to Hopkins, they just went out for a friendly dinner break. However, rather than being flattered by the media speculation, he was upset -- really upset.

"That was really, really weird and hurtful," Hopkins tells Parade magazine. "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. 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."

Hopkins says the rumors felt "dirty and invasive," and gave him sympathy for "real celebrities" who deal with the tabloid frenzy every day.

"I don't know how some people keep from getting completely jaded and fearful," Hopkins says.

We're really impressed with the integrity Hopkins shows in this interview. The Jennifer Aniston dating story may have been false, but it would have been very easy for Hopkins to play along with it -- and use it to further his own career. (Gerard Butler was accused of doing this when the two were reportedly hooking up.) Instead, he chose to come clean and reveal that he was deeply shaken by the idea of lies -- even flattering ones! -- being deliberately spread about him. Sounds pretty reasonable to us. And Josh Hopkins sounds like a very decent guy. Funny, Jennifer Aniston could use one of those. Just sayin'!

Are you surprised Josh Hopkins actually fessed up that he was hurt by Jennifer Aniston dating rumors? Chime in below!

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