Renee Zellweger Actress Renée Zellweger at the 21st annual Elle Women in Hollywood Awards in Los Angeles Oct. 20, 2014 Photo: Reuters

When Renée Zellweger made a red carpet appearance at the 2014 Elle Women in Hollywood Awards in Beverly Hills Monday, many deemed the “Chicago” film star unrecognizable. While some outlets attributed her changed appearance to going under the knife, accusing her of receiving everything from a face-lift to Botox, the film star claims her new look was achieved not with the help of plastic surgery but by time.

“I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows,” Zellweger, 45, told People magazine in a statement Wednesday. Calling the plastic surgery rumors “silly,” she went on to suggest that her new look was caused by aging.

“People don’t know me in my 40s. People don’t know me [as] healthy for a while. Perhaps I look different. Who doesn’t as they get older? Ha. But I’m different. I’m happy,” she said.

Zellweger attributed her happy and healthy new lifestyle to her boyfriend, singer Doyle Bramhall II, and her decision to slow down her work schedule.

“I did work that allows for being still, making a home, loving someone, learning new things, growing as a creative person and finally growing into myself,” she said. “For a long time, I wasn’t doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn’t allow for taking care of myself.”

Prior to her red carpet appearance Monday, Zellweger was accused of undergoing plastic surgery after attending the 2013 Academy Awards. Viewers attributed her wrinkle-free face to Botox after the star took the stage to announce the award for Best Original Score, according to a report from the Daily Mail. Zellweger, who has not directly commented about rumors she has gone under the knife in years past, told People she chose to speak out about the latest accusations in order to live a more peaceful life.

“It seems folk who come digging around for some nefarious truth which doesn’t exist won’t get off my porch until I answer the door,” she said.