In an interview with Cosmopolitan UK, the 31-year-old Disney Channel alum reflected on how she felt when her private pictures were made public without her consent in 2007. At the time, Hudgens had just turned 18 and her career was finally starting to take flight.
“It was a really traumatizing thing for me. It’s really f–ked up that people feel like they are entitled enough to share something that personal with the world. As an actor, you completely lose all grip of your own privacy and it’s really sad,” the High School Musical actress told the publication on Wednesday, January 3.
The Princess Switch star continued, “If enough people are interested, they’re going to do everything they can to get to know as much about you as they can, which is flattering, I guess, but then people take it too far and end up divulging things that should be personal.”
When the controversial photos were first leaked 13 years ago, Hudgens was slammed with the brunt of the blame. The teen star was told to publicly apologize for what a Disney spokesperson said was her own “lapse in judgment” at the time, ignoring the huge violation in the actress’ privacy that caused the leak.
“I want to apologize to my fans, whose support and trust means the world to me,” Hudgens said in a statement after the photos came out. “I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends.”
Looking back on the incident now, the Spring Breakers star is able to recognize that a line was certainly crossed — but not by her.
“There’s a disconnect when you see your favorite actress on the screen, and you see them now on your TV in your homes, and you can watch them whenever you want,” Hudgens said in the interview. “There’s almost — I don’t want to say lack of respect because that sounds negative — but it just makes you feel like you know them even though you don’t.”
Despite the pain she faced following the publication of her private photos, Hudgens still tries to find the silver lining.
“I’ve always been a big advocate of being true to yourself,” she told Cosmopolitan UK. “Not everyone is going to like that — well, good.”
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