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Scarlett Johansson can laugh about it now, but the actress says she was embarrassed by the media coverage of her so-called “e-mail relationship” with Barack Obama.

“It seemed to me to be like a product of extreme sexism, and I kept thinking to myself, ‘God, if this was just, like, Kal Penn or George Clooney or any of the other (Obama) surrogates or supporters … there wouldn’t be (any) question about it. Nobody would even talk about it,” she said.
Johansson, a vocal supporter of Obama, told the Web site Politico.com in June that she and the Democratic presidential hopeful had been trading e-mails. Obama later told reporters that Johansson doesn’t have his personal e-mail address, and that his assistant forwarded one message from Johansson to which he replied.

“I was merely trying to express my delight at Obama’s commitment to his campaign in every aspect and his interest and his support (in) his surrogates and his staff and his fellows, and how wonderful and refreshing that is. And it was manipulated into such an unfortunate media frenzy of kind of a nonstory,” the 23-year-old actress said Tuesday in an interview from Los Angeles, where she was promoting her new Woody Allen film “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

The romantic comedy set against the bohemian backdrop of Barcelona, Spain, has its share of buzz over Johansson’s much-hyped kiss with Penelope Cruz.

“It’s just silly because … the way people are talking about it you’d think it was … a Bertolucci movie or something,” Johansson said, laughing. “People are saying, ‘It’s Woody Allen’s steamiest movie.’ I’m thinking, ‘Woody Allen’s steamiest WHAT?'”

It was the actress’ third time working with Allen, who directed her in “Match Point” and “Scoop.” She and actor-beau Ryan Reynolds had been snapped by paparazzi on the set of the movie last summer; she confirmed the couple’s engagement in early May.

Have they set a date?

“We’re just enjoying our time,” she said. “We’re just recently — very recently — engaged. So, you know, we’re just taking it easy. And no big plan yet. But it’s a good time and we’re just … enjoying our time to be young and engaged.

“I mean, I’m 23. There’s no reason to rush into it. Everything feels very natural and relaxed.”

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