Penn Badgley, the 31-year-old heartthrob of the 'Gossip Girl' fame, is starring in the brand new Lifetime series 'You.'
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Badgley reveals that he's no stranger to being the star of a popular show. However, he dropped the proverbial bomb during the interview when he claimed to have been molested by obsessive fans of his previous show, 'Gossip Girl,' when the series peaked.
“I think as an actor you can become an object of desire, which is something women are already accustomed to more or less around the world — I’ve definitely been, I mean, I don’t want to sound sensationalist, but I’ve literally been molested — just in the literal sense of the word — by many people in the moment,” Penn said. “Because that’s what they do.”
He also acknowledged that he's a privileged white male, but cited the case of Terry Crews as an example to show that men are equally vulnerable.
However, he wants to make it clear that there is a huge difference between sexual assault and when he said he was "molested" at the height of his 'Gossip Girl' fame.
On Monday, Badgley backed away from his claims that he was actually “literally” molested, reported Page Six.
“The point of my comment was not to confess a personal trauma,” he told People in a statement. “I was speaking about the way emotional and physical boundaries are violated for someone in the public eye, who is seen as an object of desire.”
“Depending on so many factors, it can range from conscious abuse to something very unconscious — and that is the point I was making, cautiously, in the context of a conversation about fanaticism and cultural norms which support manipulative or abusive behavior,” he continued. “These are the same norms which support predatory men, but not exclusively predatory men. They affect, and infect, us all.”