updated 02/08/2008 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 02/08/2008 AT 2:15 PM ET
A friend of Kirsten Dunst’s says the lingering effects of being a child actress and the pressures from constant media scrutiny are at the core of her decision to seek help in rehab.
“It’s cruel the way people have put her under a microscope,” says a friend of the actress. “She’s trying to take a break. It’s a great thing.”
The friend adds: “She’s an incredible woman – so giving of her time, her money, her soul. That’s the story that should be told. Everyone has problems, but not everyone is forced to deal with them in a fishbowl.”
The Dunst friend notes that the Spider-Man star spent her childhood working as an actress.
“There’s probably less than a half of a percent of people in the world who understand the issues of being a child star and the pressures that come with it,” says the friend. “You have to figure out a lot of lessons later in life, ones you didn’t learn in school. The socialization is very different.”