Australian hunk Heath Ledger has hit out at reports he spat at journalists on the Sydney set of Candy last year.
The Brokeback Mountain star, widely tipped for an Oscar for his performance alongside Jake Gyllenhall in the gay cowboy movie, is furious at his press portrayal as uncouth and cranky.
His uncle has also been caught up in the press furore, after allegedly spitting at a waiting snapper outside the actor's Sydney home last week.
Ledger is desperate to repair his fractured relationship with the media ahead of the March Academy Awards, but won't stand for false reporting.
He tells Australia's Daily Telegraph: "It's disgusting and awful. I would never in a million years do anything like that. I'm not some sort of dirty spitter.
"It's really upsetting. It's blown up now so that I look like I have this gang of friends that all spit at people. I'm not like that. I wouldn't do that in a million years. It just hurts, you know."
Earlier this week Ledger's actress girlfriend Michelle Williams accused press of starting a hate campaign against him.
She said: "They've been really tough on Heath, and he takes it personally. They've been tossing out this stuff about him being a spitter, and it's just so mean, and it really hurts his feelings.
"He's not that way at all. It's not true. The only spitter in our house is (baby daughter) Matilda".