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Vanessa Hudgens opens up about 'traumatizing' 2007 nude photo leak

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While it’s been more than a decade since Vanessa Hudgens was the victim of a nude photo leak, she doesn’t find it any less “traumatizing.”

The Bad Boys for Life actress, 31, opened up about the 2007 scandal, which took place at the height of her Disney Channel fame as part of the High School Musical cast. Photos of her, including some in which she was fully nude, had surfaced online and, despite being the victim, the 18-year-old was publicly shamed over it and had to apologize for what the network called a “lapse in judgment.”

"It was a really traumatizing thing for me,” Hudgens told Cosmopolitan U.K. for its February issue. “It’s really f***ed up that people feel like they are entitled enough to share something that personal with the world.”

The whole breach of privacy made Hudgens struggle with her fame.

“As an actor, you completely lose all grip of your own privacy and it’s really sad,” she said. “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.”

Hudgens continued, "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. 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."

Hudgens — who was also the target of a Gmail hack in 2011 in which nude photos and a video were stolen — said that being wronged has just made her tougher overall.

"I have been talked to in ways that are not appropriate,” she told the magazine. “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.' 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*ck off. If someone doesn’t like that, literally they can f*** off. As long as you hold your ground, no one will bring you down."

And she’s proud of that toughness.

“I’ve always been a big advocate of being true to yourself,” she said. “Not everyone is going to like that – well, good. That makes you an individual. That makes you unique. And if we’re all the same, what’s the point? It’s important to look out for each other, especially in this industry, and realize it’s tough. It’s hard enough, nobody needs to make it harder."

Hudgens was among the first celebrities to have her privacy breached and photos posted online. The star, who was dating her co-star Zac Efron at the time, had to issue a public apology. There was speculation that she was going to be fired from future HSM films, and the network publicly scolded her for her “lapse in judgment,” saying they hoped she “learned a valuable lesson."

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