Jenny McCarthy: I Never Criticized Cousin Melissa Over Her Weight

Despite reports, the Dirty Love star tells PEOPLE she has "only ever encouraged" her cousin

Photo: Tammie Arroyo/AP; Desiree Navarro/WireImage

Jenny McCarthy has nothing but love for her family – and that includes Melissa McCarthy.

According to the View cohost, reports that she has criticized her cousin for her weight in the past are not only untrue, but extremely hurtful.

“There is a crazy story going around that I once told my cousin, Melissa, that she would have to lose weight in order to get into show business. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Jenny tells PEOPLE exclusively.

Although Jenny is responsible for helping the actress get her foot in the door, Melissa’s success in the spotlight is a result of her own perseverance – and plenty of praise from the bride-to-be.

“When she was starting out, I was fortunate enough to be in a position to get her a job on a show I was doing, to learn the ropes and get some experience on a TV set in front of the camera and behind the scenes,” Jenny, 41, says.

She adds, “She has accomplished everything she has accomplished through hard work and her extraordinary talent, and I’ve only ever encouraged and supported and wished her the very best.”

As for her upcoming nuptials to Donnie Wahlberg, the Dirty Love star insists she wasn’t being a bridezilla with the guest list when she didn’t send the actress an invitation.

“‘They also say that I’ve ‘banned’ Melissa from my upcoming wedding, which is also ridiculous,” she says. “Donnie and I are planning a very intimate ceremony that will involve a very small group of our closest friends and that’s it – not a huge production with hundreds of friends and extended families.”

“It’s hurtful that people make up stories that pit not just families, but specifically women, against each other,” Jenny adds.

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