Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Blogger Perez Hilton said he has no regrets about posting a Twitter message that linked to a controversial upskirt photo of Miley Cyrus this week.
Suggestions that Hilton violated child porn laws reverberated online because some people believed it showed the 17-year-old singer-actress's private parts.
Hilton, appearing on HLN's "The Joy Behar Show" Thursday, said people "are getting upset over an image they didn't see."
"You didn't see anything down there," Hilton told Behar. "I can't help it, Joy, if America has a very dirty imagination."
The photo appeared to have been digitally altered to give the impression that Cyrus was not wearing underwear, according to Behar, who saw a copy of the photo provided by Hilton.
"I feel like if everyone saw this image in question, they would clearly see that you're not seeing anything down there that you're not supposed to," Hilton said. "It's definitely not child pornography and it's definitely not illegal."
A spokesman with the U.S. Attorney office in Los Angeles said there was no criminal investigation into Hilton's posting.
Other photos taken at the same time clearly showed panties under her white dress, Hilton said.
"The point of me choosing that one photo is because it was showing Miley getting out of the car in an unladylike fashion," he said. "And I just thought that was funny and in keeping with her shocking behavior of late, because she was very well aware that she was in a public place at a video shoot and that there were paparazzi present."
Hilton has frequently satirized Miley Cyrus, a teenaged Disney star who is approaching adulthood with cameras constantly tracking her.
"It's not actually doing anything worse than Miley herself has been doing recently, from grinding up on her 40-something-year-old director to pole dancing to all the over-sexualized things that she has been doing and turning herself into this creature," he said.
The photo never appeared on Hilton's celebrity gossip website, but was linked to a message he sent to the 2 million followers of his Twitter account.
"I would have posted the image on my site had I been able to, but it was taken by one photo agency that I don't have a deal with," he said. "So I've learned my mistake in the past about using photos that I don't have licenses to."
The offending photo disappeared from its original online location by Monday morning, although it was republished on some other sites.
Hilton thrives off such controversies, including when he asked Miss California about her same-sex marriage views at last year's Miss USA pageant. Carrie Prejean, who was a runner-up in the competition, became the center of a public frenzy as a result.
While the controversy may drive readers to Hilton's site, he acknowledged that it also drove an advertiser away. ABC pulled ads for its TV show "The View" from his site, he said. ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company, which also produced Miley Cyrus's show.