The Dukes of Hazzard's original DAISY DUKE, CATHERINE BACH has leaped to Jessica Simpson's defence, branding reports about her protege's ballooning weight "vicious".
Simpson played sexy Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard movie in 2005, and Bach has been a fan ever since.
She insists criticism of Simpson's recent weight gain is offensive to all women, and Bach, 54, claims media outlets are giving young girls the wrong message about their growing bodies - by poking fun at Simpson.
She tells U.S. news show Entertainment Tonight, "I think it's a shame that Jessica has been viciously attacked for superficial reasons. It sends a bad message to our young girls that, in order to fit in, you have to be skinny and your outfits better make you look skinny, too.
"What I hope my daughters are learning from me is to respect themselves, honour their bodies, and show compassion and kindness towards others."
Simpson's sister, Ashlee, also slammed gossips earlier this week (beg26Jan09), insisting she was "completely disgusted" by the attacks on her older sister's fuller figure.