AceShowbiz - Penn Badgley has clarified his remark that he was "molested" by "Gossip Girl" fans during his time on the show, insisting he was just trying to draw attention to how boundaries are violated when you're famous.
The 31-year-old actor, who played Dan Humphrey on the teen programme from 2007 to 2012, had made the comment during an interview with the Daily Beast, admitting he struggled to cope with the public's adoration of him at points.
"I think as an actor you can become an object of desire, which is something women are already accustomed to more or less around the world," he said. "I've definitely been, I mean I don't want to sound sensationalist, but I've literally been molested - just in the literal sense of the word - by many people in the moment. Because that's what they do."
However, Penn told People.com that he hadn't intended for the interview to come across as a revelation of a "personal trauma", but was simply attempting to explain how different things can be for someone living in the public eye.
"The point of my comment was not to confess a personal trauma. I was speaking about the way emotional and physical boundaries are violated for someone in the public eye, who is seen as an object of desire," the 31-year-old said in a statement.
"Depending on so many factors, it can range from conscious abuse to something very unconscious - and that is the point I was making, cautiously, in the context of a conversation about fanaticism and cultural norms which support manipulative or abusive behaviour. These are the same norms which support predatory men, but not exclusively predatory men. They affect, and infect, us all."