Los Angeles: Filmmaker Michael Bay says he "truly respects" actress Kate Beckinsale. Bay has come under fire after Beckinsale recently revealed he advised her to lose weight to star as Nurse Lt. Evelyn Johnson in his 2001 drama “Pearl Harbor”, reports femalefirst.co.uk. But he has now spoken out to defend himself, saying Beckinsale's "funny story" has been taken out of context and he never had a problem with her body. He wrote on his website: “Kate and I are friendly. She is a fantastic actress, very funny, witty lady, sassy, speaks her mind, and I truly respect her. That's why she has come to so many of my Christmas parties and Birthday parties. "This so called 'problem of us not liking each other' was reported by a tabloid-esque reporter after Kate appeared on an edgy English talk show, speaking about our meeting 16 years ago while casting 'Pearl Harbor'," he continued. Bay said that her statement was made into a “scandalous confrontation, when it was nothing of the sort”. “Spoke to Kate today and she felt she told a funny story. So I guess I was the 'bad guy' 16-years-ago for suggesting a trainer because she just had her new beautiful baby girl -- and she was about to enter into an intensive action movie. Note to reporters: 95 per cent of leads in movies have trainers and drink green juice!"