"Everyone goes through things and takes their own path," Duff said Monday a press event for her new movie War Inc. "Who am I to judge decisions that she made?"
Still, Duff says she would not have chosen the same path for herself. "People are pushing you to do something, and if you want to do it, that's your choice, you know?" added the singer-actress. "It's not what I would choose to do, but if she did then that's fine. That's her choice."
Asked how she has avoided the pitfalls of being a young star, Duff, 20, said she's relied on a strong network. "I've had a lot of help from people," she says. "It's a joint effort with my family and everyone helping me balance my life."
Cyrus, 15, has since expressed regret for the photo, which gives the appearance that she's nude – although she is not. The Hannah Montana star told PEOPLE, "I feel so embarrassed."
Reporting by SONA CHARAIPOTRA