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Vanessa Hudgens says she’s grateful for Austin Butler breakup

Vanessa Hudgens has opened up about why she’s grateful for her breakup from ex Austin Butler, whom she dated for nine years.

The 35-year-old actor spoke candidly about her previous relationships during an appearance on the She Pivots podcast, which aired on 6 March. According to Hudgens, she’s learned a lot from her breakup with Butler, as it ultimately led her to her husband Cole Tucker, who she married in December 2023 in Mexico.

“I feel like so much of my character was built from my breakups,” she said. “My last breakup had really catapulted me into a very, very special place. It pushed me to the right person, which I’m so grateful for.”

She went on to praise the baseball player, adding: “He’s just the most, supportive, real, and understanding human being I ever met.”

Since Hudgens’ relationship with Butler ended in 2020, they’ve opted to keep details about the romance out of the spotlight. During an interview with Esquire last month, Butler addressed how he went viral when referring to his ex as “a friend” in 2022 when recalling how she once told him that he should play Elvis Presley in a biopic, long before he was cast as the singer.

As he discussed the criticism he faced for calling Hudgens a friend, he explained why he didn’t mention his name in the first place, noting that he values his ex’s privacy and that he still has a lot of appreciation for their relationship.

“Oh, yeah, I learned a lesson with that one,” Butler, who’s been dating model Kaia Gerber since 2022, said. “I felt that I was respecting her privacy in a way and not wanting to bring up a ton of things that would cause her to have to talk. I have so much love and care for her. It was in no way trying to erase anything.”

After acknowledging that he and Hudgens were together for a “long time”, he doubled down on his decision to keep the details of their romance private. “I value my own privacy so much,” he said. “I didn’t want to give up anybody else’s privacy.”

While discussing the challenges of dating in the public eye,  during her recent appearance on She Pivots, Hudgens also reflected on some of the scrutiny she’s faced on social media. More specifically, the Princess Switch star slammed trolls who went to the comments of her Instagram post in October to question if she was pregnant.

“I feel like I literally just had a run-in with the public taking control over their opinion of me in a way that was disrespectful,” she said. “I went on my bachelorette and I posted a video of me, and there were all these comments like, ‘Oh my god you’re pregnant.’ And I was like, ‘That is so rude. I’m sorry, I don’t wear Spanx every day, and, like, am a real woman and have a real body,’”

Back when she first faced the speculation in October, she simply told fans in the comments: “Not pregnant so y’all can stop.”

During her appearance on She Pivots, Hudgens went on to recall how the speculation affected her, adding: “I’m literally celebrating one of the happiest times of my life, and you guys are just gonna make me feel fat. That’s great. Thanks.”

However, the Disney Channel alum still acknowledged that the criticism is an opportunity to remind women of “the four agreements”, referring to a self-help book by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. She went on to praise the book, before sharing one of the agreements that Ruiz wrote about.

“[It’s] simple rules for being a good person, and one of them is don’t make assumptions, in all aspects of life, but especially over other women’s bodies,” she said. “We deal with so much with other people trying to control our bodies, let’s not make assumptions over other women’s bodies as well.”