Austin Butler has learned a major lesson … never refer to your ex of nearly 10 years as a ‘friend’ cause you will catch a lot of flak for it — just like he did this week.
The actor had to clarify what he meant from an interview he did almost a year ago … when he pulled a Biz Markie and referred to Vanessa Hudgens as just a pal. At the time, he was recounting a story about how the idea of playing Elvis first came onto his radar … which included Vanessa telling him he oughta portray the King while listening to Xmas songs.
In a new interview with Esquire that dropped this week .. he clarified what he said about her at the time, clarifying he meant no disrespect … not mention downplaying the role VH played in his life during their nearly decade-long relationship. On the contrary, he insists he only referred to her as a friend out of her own interest … to protect her privacy.
Austin says he opted for that wording based on his own experience … explaining that values privacy so much himself, and didn’t want to put the “High School Musical” star in a position where her own was compromised and she’d be forced to comment on their relationship.
He noted … “I have so much love and care for her. It was in no way trying to erase anything.”
ICYMI … Vanessa’s fans were up in arms over the original flippancy of Austin failing to acknowledge she was his longtime girlfriend … they dated for a helluva long time before splitting up in 2020.
The pair pulled the plug on their romance … and they’ve each since moved on. Austin’s now dating model Kaia Gerber. … and Vanessa’s gotten hitched to baseball player Cole Tucker.
As it turns out … Austin isn’t salty about anything — at least that’s what he’s saying now.