Frankie Muniz reveals secret ‘issue’ behind Hilary Duff split in early 2000s


Frankie Muniz has revealed he hasn’t spoken “a word” to his former co-star and girlfriend Hilary Duff in 21 years due to a secret falling out.

The former teen movie star, who has been announced as a contestant on Australia’s I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!, made the revelation during an interview with news.com.au before heading into the South African jungle for the Channel 10 series, which premieres Sunday night.

Muniz, now 38, dated Duff when the pair were in their early teens and went on to play love interests in the popular 2003 film Agent Cody Banks while they were together.

“I haven’t talked to Hilary Duff since we filmed that movie. Not one word,” Muniz said.

A few months before filming that movie, the Malcolm in the Middle star was on-set of Duff’s Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire, in which he made a cameo as himself.

He said he was talking to Duff’s mother, Susan, in the actress’ dressing room when he told her he was in pre-production for Agent Cody Banks.

Muniz claimed Susan expressed interest in Duff playing the lead female role, which is when their relations with one another began to go south.

“At the time, I had in my contract that I got to pick the girl in my movie. Now, I’m dating Hilary [at the time] … Oh god, this is going to get me in trouble. I shouldn’t even say it,” Muniz said.

“Moral of the story, she did the movie right? Without me somehow knowing that she was going to be doing the movie until we did the movie.

“And it’s not that I wouldn’t love to talk to her now, but just at that time, it was more an issue with me and her mum. That’s all I’ll say.”

As for if he had any other secret romances with his bevy of high-profile co-stars, including Amanda Bynes and Hannah Spearritt, Muniz confirmed he did, but refused to name names. He said fans would be “absolutely” blown away if they knew.

Muniz is the ‘Hollywood child star’ who signed on to star in the long-running Ten series, where he’ll join already announced camp mate, Australian radio host Brittany Hockley.

The rest of the cast will be unveiled during tonight’s premiere.

Muniz currently lives in the US state of Arizona with his wife Paige and two-year-old son Mauz Mosley, having left the bright lights of Los Angeles back in 2008 to pursue an open-wheel racing career.

The actor, who was dubbed “Hollywood’s most bankable teen” in 2003, said he made the decision to step away for his mental health.

“I never felt like I fully fit in the Hollywood world, even though I was in the world.I was nominated for Emmys and Golden Globes, and I was going to all this stuff, and I was there, and I was like, how am I here?” he said.

“I hated LA, so I kind of stayed in my own little world, my own little bubble. And moving to Arizona, I did it on a whim, and I realised immediately that I started looking up. I started enjoying looking at trees and birds in the sky. Going to the grocery store was a fun thing. You don’t get that in LA. It’s a miserable experience.”

While most celebrities say snakes and height challenges are their biggest fear, Muniz’s phobia is a little more offbeat.

“The biggest challenge for me a hundred per cent is going to be any of the food eating challenges. I’m the pickiest eater on the planet,” he said.

“I’ve never had a strawberry to this day. I tried my first pear recently that didn’t come from a can.

“The truth is, if they put a strawberry on a plate, I’d tap out.”

The overall winner of I’m A Celeb will be crowned king or queen of the jungle after four weeks, and will take home $100,000 in prize money for the charity of their choice.

Muniz is competing to raise money for Dementia Australia.

“I recently just lost my grandmother who suffered from dementia,” he said.

“I know how important it is for families and people experiencing dementia to have support, and that’s what Dementia Australia is focused on. So I definitely want to help spread that word and help any way I can with that.”

I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! premieres Sunday 7.30pm on Channel 10



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