'It was a really traumatizing thing for me,' she admits.
Vanessa Hudgens is opening up about the nude photo leak scandal she encountered back in 2007.
In a new interview with Cosmopolitan UK, the former Disney star recalls the situation being "really f**ked up," as she was blamed for taking compromising photos and was forced to apologize for a situation she had no control over.
At the time, Hudgens released the following statement to the press:
"I want to apologize to my fans, whose support and trust mean the world to me. I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends."
Disney Channel spokeswoman Patti McTeague also released a statement, which read, "Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she's learned a valuable lesson."
Looking back on that now, Hudgens, 31, says 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," she says. " As an actor, you completely lose all grip of your own privacy and it’s really sad. It feels like that shouldn’t be the case, but unfortunately, 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."
"I think that is because 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," she continues. "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."
Earlier in the interview, Hudgens -- who has been dating actor Austin Butler since 2011 -- also opens up about the struggles of adulting. She admits that she feels "more anxiety now" than she has her entire life.
"You become an adult and s**t gets real," she admits. "I have two mortgages and I'm spending way more money than I would like to spend -- I think all of that bulls**t really takes a toll on your wellbeing. Paying your taxes -- all of this adult s**t that you don't have to deal with when you're a kid. You can live young and free, then it all kind of... goes away."
"Looking back, it feels like another lifetime," she adds. "I mean, I'm tired for sure. I take good care of myself. I know the things that matter the most -- I do love my job, but my job isn't everything. My family is -- my partner and my friends are the things that keep me grounded."
Hudgens continues on, saying she believes that you "become who you surround yourself with."
"I think it's really important to have a group of friends that reflects the type of person you want to be," she explains. "I've never been one for LA clubs. I actually despise [them] -- I love a good rave. I'm like, 'Take me to New York or Berlin and put me underground in a warehouse with lasers and smoke machines and I'll be living my best life.' That's something that makes me who I am and allows my soul to flourish."
"I was also a really shy kid. I love acting and being on the stage and hiding behind a character, but when it came to me, Vanessa, being out there, I was never one for that -- and it's something I'm still getting used to," she continues. "I think being a shy kid really helped me not go down the wrong path -- being a bit antisocial, literally."
Hear more on Hudgens in the video below.