Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder have apologised after they were criticised for telling a "goofy" story about Ian throwing out Nikki's birth control pills.

Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder

Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder

The 'Twilight' star and the 'Vampire Diaries' actor have insisted their comments did not mean to make light of reproductive coercion and apologised as their only intention was just to share the story of a "goofy moment in Barcelona with their two best friends" as they decided to try for a baby.

They said in a statement: "To anyone who has been affected by reproductive coercion, we are deeply sorry. That is an extremely serious issue, and women's rights is something that is incredibly important to both of us. It is something we've been very vocal about, and something that is very close to our hearts.

"We never expected a lighthearted interview we did poking fun at EACH OTHER and how WE chose together to get pregnant. A goofy moment in Barcelona with our two best friends and the anticipation of our journey together as we went from two to three, to turn into something representing a very serious matter.

"However, if this somehow sheds light on a topic that definitely needs mainstream attention, then we are grateful for the unintended consequence. It's a shame that outlets chose this as their way into a very serious discussion, as we are certainly not qualified to be the faces of this topic."

In a previous interview, Nikki explained how Ian had "thrown out" her birth control pills, prompting Twitter users to hit out at the actor.

Speaking on Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy Podcast, she said: "He threw out all my birth control pills."

Whilst Ian added: "It was the beginning of the pack, so I had to pop all those suckers out."