Just after she became known to the world as Gabriella from High School Musical, Vanessa Hudgens found herself in a “traumatic” nude photo scandal. On Friday, January 3, the 31-year-old was named the February Cosmopolitan UK cover girl and when it came to opening up for the interview, she didn’t hold back.

The actress looked back on her Disney Channel days, how she’s changed since being an adult and her relationship with boyfriend Austin Butler. She even reflected on the devastating and life-changing experience from 2007.

“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 said remembering the moment she was blamed for her personal photos being leaked. “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 explained to the publication. “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.”

Vanessa also looked back on this experience and said that from it, she learned to be true to herself in adulthood.

“I have been in situations where I’ve been talked to in inappropriate ways, but right then, in that moment, I was the person to just say, ‘No. Why would you say that? You’re completely out of line’,” the Spring Breakers star revealed. “I’m the type of person in any situation, whether it’s an audition or in work, if I feel uncomfortable, I’m going to walk away or let that person know they’re making me feel uncomfortable. Then, if they don’t respect that, they can go f**k off. If someone doesn’t like that, literally they can f*ck off. As long as you hold your ground, no one will bring you down.”

As fans know, when the photos were released, Vanessa issued an apology to her fans.

“I want to apologize to my fans, whose support and trust means 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,” she said in the 2007 statement.

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