Last Thursday, Vampire Diaries bowed to The CW’s highest debut ratings ever. So Kayla Ewell, who plays Vicki on the show, has a request: Stop talking about those supposed mug shots that made the rounds on the Internet last week, and start talking about those ratings. “Having this be the first story that’s released is so frustrating,” Ewell says. “[The situation] is so exaggerated and [has been] made into something it’s not.”

A little background: On Aug. 22, police responded to several phone calls about a group of women who were allegedly flashing motorists and hanging off a bridge in Forsyth, Ga. When police arrived at the scene, they found four actresses from Vampire Diaries — Candice Accola, Sara Canning, Nina Dobrev and Ewell — and a photographer, Tyler Shields. (Another actress who does not appear on the show, Krystal Vayda, was also on the scene.) Officers looking through the group’s pics found “numerous photographs of the females hanging, sitting, and straddling the bridge,” according to a report by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. As EW previously reported, the six were taken into police custody, paid a fine, and were released soon after.

But, according to Ewell, the incident was more innocent than it was made out to be. The actress says while on a road trip with her castmates (the show shoots nearby), the group decided to stop to take pictures on a bridge. That’s when they were rushed by Monroe County cops. “They were like, ‘We’re getting calls that people are flashing,'” Ewell says. “And we’re like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. The only thing that’s flashing is our camera.'” The actress says that after showing police their photos, the group was asked to follow officials to the police station, where they were ticketed for loitering on a public walkway.

So why did motorists allegedly think the actresses were exposing themselves? “I have no idea,” Ewell says. “We are not the type of girls who flash our breasts. In all honesty, the size of my breasts aren’t necessarily something people would be interested in. It’s so ridiculous. I would never do that.” (As for those rumors that the group was drinking? Not true, says Ewell: “I mean, this happened at 11 am in the morning.”)

But Ewell and the cast is still trying to focus on the positive, regardless of whatever bad press the situation created. “We’re trying to straighten everything out and be happy that we’re on a fabulous TV show,” she says. “As a cast, we have all worked so incredibly hard to get here. We don’t want people to think of us this way.”

Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CW