Hilary Duff Responds to Car Seat Controversy Involving Daughter Banks

Hilary Duff faced a major mom controversy earlier this year involving her daughter Banks not riding in a car seat, and now the actress has responded to the criticism. In a new interview with Romper, Duff spoke about motherhood and acknowledged the situation she got swept up in. "The other day...there was this huge story that came out because my friend Molly [Bernard] was in the backseat of our car with Banks without her car seat," she said.

"It's not like I'm driving on the 405 with my kids in the backseat without a car seat. You have no context. You don't know where I am," Duff continued, later admitting that she has, on occasion, allowed her children to ride up front while she is driving, but only in very specific circumstances. "Do you know how many times I let my kids sit on my front seat once we get [close to our driveway] to pretend like they're driving home?" Duff said. She added, "You're telling me you've never put your kid in the backseat to drive a block before with an adult back there? I'm like, 'Happy New Year to you, too."

The How I Met Your Father actress found herself being mom-shamed online back in January after Banks was seen without being in a car seat. Over on Instagram, Duff's former Younger co-star, Bernard, shared a video of herself riding in the backseat of a car, with Banks sitting next to her. Many Instagram users noticed that Banks appeared to be sitting in the moving vehicle without being in a child's car seat or booster seat, which is a safety requirement for all states.

"Child endangerment. California law requires children in a car seat or a booster depending on age/height and weight," one person commented. "She's adorable but shouldn't she be in a booster seat?" Someone else asked. "You do realize that Britney Spears had her kids taken away from her for not having her kids be in a booster seat. Be better," another concerned user commented.

One person offered a different perspective, stating that they were pretty sure it looked like Banks was sitting in a booster, but added that it could still be unsafe for a child her age. "While yes I agree the seatbelt should be properly worn it definitely looks like she is in a booster," the user wrote. "It is clear that this precious girl loves Molly and that there is no bad intent here. I'm sure this will be used as a learning experience but for people to be calling for a CPS investigation that is really far to take this."