5 August 2008 6:30 PM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Meg Ryan was so upset by the way America turned on her during her 2000 romance with Proof Of Life co-star Russell Crowe she needed to take a break from Hollywood to recover.

The actress had long been considered America's sweetheart until the break-up of her marriage to Dennis Quaid and her fling with Crowe turned her into public enemy number one - and she struggled to cope with the backlash.

She tells Parade magazine, "It's a very big surprise in life when you learn that not everyone is rooting for you. It's a very scary thing when you figure that out.

"I never imagined that worrying about what other people think of me would be a big part of my day. But, when you get that much negativity thrown at you, you go, 'Whew, I've got to cope with that.'

"Nothing I heard in the press resembled the truth. What an insight for me.

"I took time off. I wanted to get simple and quiet. I wanted to laugh. I wanted to travel."

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