Ethan Hawke and Peter Cooper, beware: Toby Keith holds grudges. The country superstar admits he doesn't quickly forgive and forget.

"I can hold a grudge," he tells The Gadsden Times. "There are certain things that can be forgiven, but if you're gonna tell a lie about me and then back it up like it's the truth, and try to make your star brighter ... if you can't work in your business and you have to resort to finding and critiquing other people and making up lies about other people and putting it in the press to try and make your star power bigger, then yeah, I've got a problem with that."

Toby is obviously still licking his wounds over Hawke's recent Rolling Stone article that detailed an alleged encounter between Toby and Kris Kristofferson, painting Toby in a rather unflattering light. Cooper, a reporter for Nashville's Tennesseean newspaper, then took a public tongue lashing from Toby over his own article about Hawke's story. Toby blames jealousy for the movie star and reporters' motivations.

"Guys who come out in the press who were famous who were trying to make their star brighter because they can't have what I've got ... you gotta come take this and you can't," he says. "So, if you can't do as well as I'm doing, then the only thing you can do is take shots at me. That's expected. It's jealous, and it's envious."

2009 ACM Awards Winners and Performers

    Carrie Underwood performs "I Told You So" at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 5, 2009.

    Mark J. Terrill, AP

    Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum onstage during the 44th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand on April 5, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Kevin Winter, Getty Images for ACM

    Musician Keith Urban performs onstage during the 44th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand on April 5, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Ethan Miller, Getty Images

    Singer Miley Cyrus performs onstage during the 44th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand on April 5, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Ethan Miller, Getty Images

    George Strait performs at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 5, 2009.

    Mark J. Terrill, AP

    Toby Keith performs onstage during the 44th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand on April 5, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Ethan Miller, Getty Images

    Musician/singer Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 44th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand on April 5, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Ethan Miller, Getty Images

    Kenny Chesney performs onstage during the 44th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand on April 5, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Ethan Miller, Getty Images

    Singer Carrie Underwood performs onstage during the 44th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand on April 5, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Kevin Winter, Getty Images for ACM

    Jamey Johnson performs "In Color" at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 5, 2009.

    Mark J. Terrill, AP

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Toby vehemently denies the heated exchange with Kristofferson ever took place. Kristofferson says he simply doesn't remember it, but admits his wife does recall what happened. Regardless of who's right or wrong, Toby argues that he was wrongly attacked and would never himself do that to anyone else.

"When you reach the top of your game, you worked your butt off to get there and you go about your business ... I don't attack other people," he says. "You never hear it in the press, 'Toby Keith attacks so-and-so,' and singles out this act or singer."

Toby is currently in the middle of this seventh USO tour in the Middle East.