LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Twilight" actress Kristen Stewart on Friday apologized for comparing her reluctant fame and the swarm of media surrounding her to being raped, saying she had made "an enormous mistake."
The 20-year-old actress, known for being ill at ease with the media frenzy surrounding her role as Bella Swan in the blockbusting vampire movie franchise, has been criticized by fans and rape victim groups for comparing her experience on the red carpet to a sexual assault.
"The photos are so...I feel like I'm looking at someone being raped...A lot of the time I can't handle it," she told the July edition of Britain's Elle magazine in remarks released on Wednesday.
Stewart ironically played a rape victim in the 2004 film "Speak" and has been a spokeswoman for the group Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).
"I really made an enormous mistake -- clearly and obviously. And I'm really sorry about my choice of words," Stewart told People magazine while in Korea to promote the June 30 release of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse".
"'Violated' definitely would have been a better way of expressing the thought," she added. "People thinking that I'm insensitive about this subject rips my guts out. I made a big mistake."
Earlier this week, RAINN had called Stewart's comments to Elle inappropriate, noting that rape is a violent crime rather than a mere intrusion.
The group on Friday said it "appreciates Kristen Stewart's sincere apology regarding these comments" and looked forward to working with her again in the future.
Stewart and her co-star Robert Pattinson became international teen idols starting in late 2008 after the success of the first "Twilight" movie, about the love affair between a shy high school student and a vampire.
But Stewart has complained frequently about the effect on her personal life of the three movies based on the best-selling books of Stephenie Meyer. A fourth movie "Breaking Dawn" is due for release in November 2011.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)