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Ashley Judd fires back over plastic surgery rumors

Actress Ashley Judd denies plastic surgery rumors following criticism about her "puffy" face, says she was taking steroids for sinus infection.

In an exclusive interview airing tonight on “Nightly News,” actress Ashley Judd addresses recent criticism about her appearance, saying the negative comments about her "puffy face" were spurred by society’s objectification of girls and women.

In March, while Judd was promoting her new TV series, gossip magazines said Judd’s face looked fuller – and the rumors started swirling. One of Judd’s representatives told media outlets she had been battling an ongoing sinus infection and taking medication, but that didn’t stop people from speculating that she had had plastic surgery. 

Judd addressed the rumors this week in an opinion article that appeared in The Daily Beast, writing that her appearance was due to taking steroids for a sinus infection.

“When I am sick for more than a month and on medication (multiple rounds of steroids), the accusation is that because my face looks puffy, I have ‘clearly had work done,’ with otherwise credible reporters with great bravo ‘identifying’ precisely the procedures I allegedly have had done,” she wrote.

This evening on “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” Judd -– who is currently starring in ABC’s new show “Missing” -- reflects on the criticism she’s endured throughout her prolific career.

“I think it’s hatred of women that invites the criticism. I think it’s the objectification of girls and women and this hypersexualization of our society that invites the criticism. It doesn’t have anything to do with me, really, and how I look,” she told NBC News.

Judd said after she took the steroids for her infection and appeared in public, “there was no presumption of goodwill.”

“The conversation went straight to, ‘Oh my gosh.’ And then I started to catch the double bind where, you know, my face looks puffy, 'She's had work,' you know? And then, look at the same image in a different interpretation by a separate set of people is, 'Oh, come on, she doesn't even have any wrinkles at all, she's clearly had work,'” Judd said. “So I look bad, I've had work. I look too good, I've had work.”

Watch the full interview tonight on "Nightly News."