Austin Butler clarifies referring to Vanessa Hudgens as a "friend" was about respecting her privacy.
He acknowledges the backlash and states he learned a lesson from the incident.
Butler emphasizes his care and love for Hudgens, highlighting he didn't intend to erase their past.
Privacy is a significant value for Butler, influencing his decision not to disclose details about their relationship.
Fans noticed similarities between stories shared by Butler and Hudgens regarding his role as Elvis Presley.
Social media users criticized Butler for not mentioning Vanessa by name, suggesting it discredited their relationship.
Vanessa Hudgens recounted a similar story about encouraging Butler to pursue the role of Elvis Presley.
The couple dated for nearly a decade, from 2011 to 2020.
Both Butler and Hudgens have moved on with new partners.
Butler is currently dating model Kaia Gerber.
Vanessa Hudgens recently married her new husband, Cole Tucker.
Butler's comments came during an interview with Esquire.
The actor expressed his intentions to avoid causing Hudgens any discomfort or needing to discuss their past.
Hudgens' story about inspiring Butler to pursue the role of Elvis parallels Butler's own account.
The incident sparked discussions on social media about privacy, relationships, and the public spotlight.
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