Teen pop star HILARY DUFF suspects she fell victim to Ashton Kutcher's pranks on his hit show PUNK'D because she disclosed her preference for Irish actor Colin Farrell.

The 16-year-old SO YESTERDAY singer "freaked out" when a driving lesson turned nasty after her teacher attacked another motorist, smashing his headlights with a baseball bat.

Then, just when she thought her day couldn't get worse, she was car-jacked by a thug who made off with her purse.

Duff later learned the whole episode - which aired in October (03) - was a prank, and she has her suspicions as to why it happened.

She says, "When Ashton and I were filming Cheaper by the Dozen, AMANDA BYNES and I presented together at (the Mtv Movie Awards). She was like, 'Ashton looks hot,' and I said, 'Forget Ashton - look at Colin Farrell.'

"The next day on-set, Ashton was like, 'You better watch yourself!'"

04/12/2003 09:06