Penn Badgley felt he needed to further explain himself after a remark he made about being "molested" during his "Gossip Girl" days started getting picked up by multiple news outlets.
"The point of my comment was not to confess a personal trauma," he said in a statement to People. "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."
In his interview with the Daily Beast, Badgley -- who is currently portraying a dark and disturbed stalker on Lifetime’s "You" -- recalled portraying heartthrob Dan Humphrey on "Gossip Girl" and how some of the show’s fans had what he called a "pretty full-on obsession” with him.
"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.”
Badgley was careful not to compare his experiences to some of the women in the #MeToo movement, but did say that the story of Terry Crews coming forward after an alleged assault inspired him.
"You’re led as a man, particularly, that when it happens you should feel great about it,” he said of unwanted advances. "Particularly when it comes from someone who’s feasibly an object of your desire as well.”
The often private actor noted in the interview that he was pleased that "You" is coming out at this pivotal time.
"I think it’s significant that a show like this is coming out now, because if it had come out any other time, we might not have have been having these necessary conversations around it,” he explained. "And we might have been all too ready to consume something that I think actually has some really dangerous seeds in it."
Badgley is celebrating his return to TV with a healthy sense of caution.
"I definitely took a break. I definitely had to question if I wanted to keep doing what I’ve been doing,” he said of life after "Gossip Girl." "But I’m excited -- I think.”
When ET spoke with Badgley about the role earlier this month, he was very enthusiastic about portraying a darker character.
“I just had this great time with it in this way that I did not expect at all,” he said. “So, then I discovered what it really meant to be Joe as an actor.”