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Penn Badgley Clarifies Comment About Being Molested By Fans

Penn Badgley is speaking out to clarify a comment he made about being molested by overzealous fans.

The 31-year-old actor brought it up in an interview with The Daily Beast and the outlet mentioned that Penn was “thoughtful and cautious when discussing” the subject. He also acknowledged “the privilege that being a man, not to mention a white man, affords him.”

Now, Penn has released a new statement after the quote went viral.

“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,” Penn told People.

“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 behavior,” he added. “These are the same norms which support predatory men, but not exclusively predatory men. They affect, and infect, us all.”

Penn Badgley Says He Was Molested by 'Gossip Girl' Fans

Penn Badgley poses with his You co-stars John Stamos and Elizabeth Lail while attending a PaleyFest panel on Sunday (September 9) in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The 31-year-old actor stars in the new Lifetime series and he’s no stranger to being the star of a popular series. He says that he was molested by overzealous Gossip Girl fans back in the day.

“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 — 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,” Penn said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “Because that’s what they do.”

Penn acknowledged during the interview that he is privileged as a white man, but cited Terry Crews as an example of experiences that happen to men.

UPDATE: Penn released a new statement to clarify the original comment.

FYI: Elizabeth is wearing an A.L.C. dress.

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Penn Badgley Photo Gallery

Penn Badgley, Shay Mitchell, & Elizabeth Lail Look Stylish at 'You' Series Premiere

Elizabeth Lail, Penn Badgley, and Shay Mitchell strike a pose at the premiere of their brand-new series You!

The 26-year-old Once Upon a Time actress, the 31-year-old Gossip Girl star, and the 31-year-old Pretty Little Liars actress stepped out in style for the event, hosted by Lifetime, on Thursday (September 6) in New York City.

They were joined by their co-stars Luca Padovan, Nicole Kang, Kathryn Gallagher, Daniel Cosgrove, Gianni Ciardiello, Ambyr Childers, Mercedes Griffeth, and Lou Taylor Pucci.

Katie Holmes was also there to show her support.

In You, a clever bookstore manager relies on his savvy Internet know-how to make the woman of his dreams fall in love with him. Don’t miss it when it premieres on September 9 on Lifetime! (Watch the trailer here.)

FYI: Shay is wearing Georges Chakra couture.

Also pictured inside: The cast at a screening of You on Wednesday in New York City.

55+ pictures inside of Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Shay Mitchell, and more at the premiere… More Here! »

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Penn Badgley, Shay Mitchell & More Promote 'You' In New York City

Penn Badgley, Shay Mitchell, Elizabeth Lail, Sera Gamble, and Caroline Kepnes gather up for a pic while arriving at Build Series in New York City on Wednesday afternoon (September 5).

The cast of You continued to promote their new series, which will premiere on Lifetime later this month.

“I read the pilot episode while I was on a flight, and as soon as I landed, I called everybody,” Shay explained to ET Canada. “I was like ‘I don’t care if I’m on this show or not, I need to know when it’s going to air because I need to watch it. I need to know what happens next.’”

Shay also went on to explain how the show opens up and talks about the dangers of social media.

“There were moments where I was like ‘done that before’…now, you are using it [social media] to find out about people.”

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Penn Badgley Looks So Handsome Promoting His New Show in NYC

Penn Badgley looks dapper as he steps out for a morning interview on Tuesday (September 4) in New York City.

The 31-year-old kept things cool in a gray suit and white dress shirt as he stepped out to promote his upcoming Lifetime series You.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Penn Badgley

The morning before, Penn flashed a smile in a light purple dress shirt as he left the Good Morning America studios after his interview.

While he was on GMA, Penn talked about how he prepared for his dark and twisted character.

“I listen to Michael Jackson and Prince to prepare for any and everything,” Penn said. “But I think some of our greatest pop songs are talking about a love that is maniacal and kind of obsessed.”

You
premieres on Lifetime on September 9 – and it’s already been renewed for a second season!

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