Claire Danes defends her controversial affair with Billy Crudup

Claire Danes lost her nice-girl reputation when Billy Crudup left pregnant actress Mary-Louise Parker to pursue their love affair — and now she’s telling us why.

The Homeland star was just 24 years old when she fell for Crudup, with whom she was starring in Stage Beauty, and said the public backlash was “really hard” to take — but understandable, considering Parker was seven months pregnant.

That was a scary thing,” she told Howard Stern. “That was really hard. I didn’t know how to not do that.

“I was just in love with him and needed to explore that and I was 24… I didn’t quite know what those consequences would be,” she admitted.

“But it’s OK; I went through it,” she said, adding that the two are still on good terms. “We’re friendly, we’re friends.”

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She and Crudup ended their relationship in 2006 and later that same year she met future husband Hugh Dancy on the set of Evening. The couple wed in France in 2009 and have a son together, Cyrus, born in 2012.

Parker apparently had no hard feelings towards Crudup, going as far as naming the baby he left while she was pregnant — William — after him. However, despite keeping mum on the affair for all these years, Parker may be about to break her silence. Her upcoming memoir, Dear Mr. You, will feature a series of letters the Weeds star penned to various men in her life — including Crudup. Look for it on bookshelves Nov. 10.

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