Miley Cyrus has blasted critics of her relationship with model/singer JUSTIN GASTON - insisting he has helped her get through so many difficult times.
The 15-year-old has been linked to 20-year-old Gaston - a former contestant on reality TV show Nashville Star - for several weeks, sending gossips into a spin over their relationship status.
After calling in to Ryan Seacrest's KIIS FM show on Thursday (23Oct08) morning, Cyrus played coy, telling the host they "maybe" or "maybe not" be dating.
But she says she's tired of critics talking about their five-year age gap, adding: "Everyone started judging us as soon as we started hanging out... After my last two years, there's been a lot of things that happened, so I've learned just not to judge anyone and go into our friendship with an open mind and not really worry about the age or anything.
"More than anything, he's really helped me move on from a lot of things. He's a really great Christian guy. He's gone through stuff, and I've gone through stuff, and everyone goes through that. I think it's really awesome that we have that in common - that we can talk about it and that we can understand (each other)... he gets it."
And the Hannah Montana star insists the pair's families have no opposition toward their relationship.
She adds: "Our families are like, 'Whatever happens, happens.' If he's nothing but a really good friend, that's awesome."