Jeremy London Denies Affair with Rachel Uchitel

08/23/2010 at 07:35 PM EDT

Jeremy London Denies Affair with Rachel Uchitel
Jeremy London
Andy Fossum/Startraks
Jeremy London says he has a lot respect for Rachel Uchitel and that he can relate to facing a private crisis in the public eye. But the actor tells PEOPLE that reports of a romance are untrue.

"Without a doubt we are only friends. We never even kissed. We've never had an affair," says London, 37, who will be featured with Uchitel, 35, on the fourth season of VH1's Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

The Party of Five actor acknowledges he and Tiger Woods's alleged mistress have become close since they both checked into a Pasadena recovery center – but the two are "like brother and sister."

"She's an amazing person and [the media] keeps messing with her," says London, who made news with a bizarre kidnapping incident. "I think I can identify with her because of that."

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