Hollywood star Jennifer Love Hewitt's best friend has taught her the importance of friendship - after years of avoiding having female pals.

The HEARTBREAKERS actress, 25, always had a "distorted" view of female buddies - before she met close pal JENNY at the age of 17 whilst on a trip to Hawaii which "changed her life".

Hewitt explains, "For most of my life, I didn't have any close female friends.

"Lately I've started to realise that maybe the reason I never had girlfriends growing up is that I had a distorted view of what role they were supposed to play in my life.

"I dated guys who cheated on me and I was never close to my dad, but those experiences actually made me see girls as the enemy: They either stole your boyfriend or took your dad away."

The beauty was amazed when she met Jenny, who "Never asked me about PARTY OF FIVE. Never asked me what it was like to kiss SCOTT WOLFE. I remember thinking, that's weird - I wonder why she's not talking about it.

"Jenny was finishing college; she was just a normal girl and didn't care about that stuff.

"Now I have enormous trust in the fact that I can be friends with women.

"I've learned that life without female friendship is not as special as it can be with that closeness."

24/06/2004 20:56