The young Greek artist tells PEOPLE that she is not dating the actor

By Elizabeth Leonard
June 23, 2011 06:45 PM

When Stella Mouzi met Mel Gibson this spring through mutual friends, the pair hit it off. But not, Mouzi insists, in a romantic way.

Eager to set the record straight after tabloid reports declared her Gibson’s new, young girlfriend when they were photographed together, Mouzi tells PEOPLE exclusively: “I came to the U.S. from Greece a few months ago and was charmed by the American hospitality. I made many new friends including Mel Gibson, with whom I share merely a friendly acquaintance.”

Described unflatteringly in some reports as everything from a “Greek Gothic chick” to a fetish model, Mouzi clarifies: “I am a dancer, performance artist and a photographer – that is the extent of my professional life. It has been difficult to be the subject of false rumors, which have also been hurtful to my friends and family.”

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As for Gibson, 55, (who’s stayed out of the salacious headlines himself, since the battery case involving his ex-girlfriend) he’s not dating anyone, says a close friend, who corroborates Mouzi’s account.

Says the source: “They’re 100 percent just friends.”