Actors Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder have apologized for a since-deleted podcast in which the married couple had joked about Somerhalder having thrown away Reed’s birth control pills in order to have a baby.

“To anyone who has been affected by reproductive coercion, we are deeply sorry,” the two posted jointly on their social-media accounts Saturday. “That is an extremely serious issue, and women’s rights is something that is incredibly important to both of us. It is something we’ve been very vocal about, and something that is very close to our hearts,” they wrote.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

“We never expected a lighthearted interview we did poking fun at EACH OTHER and how WE chose together to get pregnant, [in which we described] a goofy moment in Barcelona with our two best friends and the anticipation of the start of our journey together as we went from two to three, to turn into something representing a very serious matter,” they added.

“However,” concluded former “The Vampire Diaries” star Somerhalder, 38 and Reed, 29, of the “Twilight” film trilogy, “if this somehow sheds light on a topic that definitely needs mainstream attention, then we are grateful for the unintended consequence. It’s a shame that outlets chose this as their way into a very serious discussion, as we are certainly not qualified to be the faces of this topic. We are two happily married people who chose TOGETHER to have a baby. The end.”

Following their appearance last week on “Dr. Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy Podcast,” the couple was criticized online for what some took as an anecdote about a lack of female choice. Many also took to social media to defend the two, who welcomed daughter Bodhi on July 25.

Reed herself took aim Friday at a Cosmopolitan magazine writer who had penned an outraged article. “When you actually listen to the podcast (which I’m sure you didn’t) you’ll hear how UNFORCED I felt,” Reed tweeted, castigating the writer for “speaking on my behalf in a story admittedly taken out of context for the purpose of stirring up drama WITHOUT my approval. Don’t talk about consent to me. And lastly, how dare you try to cast a dark shadow over one of the happiest most memorable days of my life — you’re not only disrespecting me but my baby.”