Emmy Rossum says 'Shameless' equal pay battle was 'stressful and embarrassing'

Emmy Rossum is proud she was able to negotiate equal pay on her Showtime series "Shameless," but she called the way the back-and-forth with her network played out in the media "stressful and embarrassing."

Rossum stars as the feisty Fiona Gallagher in Showtime's longest-running series alongside William H. Macy, who plays her father Frank Gallagher.

The 31-year-old actress revealed in a new interview that she did not mean for her salary negotiations in 2016 to make its way into the press.

"It was a very private thing for a long time that I had been campaigning for and I didn't think it was going to happen," Rossum told the New York Daily News. "And then eventually it kind of leaked."

Rossum had asked Showtime for the same salary her co-star Macy was receiving.

Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher and William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher in "Shameless."

Emmy Rossum (left) as Fiona Gallagher and William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher in Showtime's "Shameless."  (Showtime)

Rossum said that even though she knew "what we were asking for" was "the right thing," she found the media coverage to be "stressful and embarrassing."

Rossum's exact salary has not been revealed but the actress said she got the deal she wanted.

"That's not to say that there weren't moments along the very, very lengthy year-long discussion of the negotiation, that I didn't waver, but I had people on my team, both men and women, who supported and reinforced that conviction and we held out," she said.

Her co-star Macy told TMZ at the time, "She works as hard as I do. She deserves everything."

Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher in Season 8, Episode 12 of "Shameless."

Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher in Season 8, Episode 12 of "Shameless."  (Showtime)

Rossum said despite the tough battle, "in the end we got what was right and I was incredibly overjoyed to return to an environment where I feel creatively inspired and where I feel other aspects of my talent are being nurtured." 

She added, "Also it feels really good to be monetarily compensated in the way that is fair and right."

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.