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Austin Butler called 'disgusting and disrespectful' for referring to ex Vanessa Hudgens as a 'friend'

Austin Butler called 'disgusting and disrespectful' for referring to ex Vanessa Hudgens as a 'friend'

People couldn't believe what he said.

Elvis star Austin Butler has been slammed on social media for referring to his ex-girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens as a 'friend'.

The actor, 31, previously dated Hudgens, 34, from 2011 to 2020, and recently praised Hudgens - describing her as a 'friend' - for encouraging him to pursue the role of Elvis in Baz Luhrmann's biopic. Watch the actor praise Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley below:

This brought the actor no small amount of praise, and on Tuesday (10 January) he was awarded the 2023 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture for the role.

Butler made the revelation about Hudgens as he discussed how he ended up stepping into the King of Rock's shoes on The Hollywood Reporter's Actors Roundtable.

"The month before I heard that Baz [Luhrmann] was making the movie, I was looking at Christmas lights and there was an Elvis Christmas song on the radio and I was with a friend of mine," he said.

"I was singing along and my friend looked over at me and said, 'You gotta play Elvis.' I said, 'Oh, that's such a long shot.'

"A couple of weeks later, I was playing the piano," he continued.

"I never really sang for any of my friends or anything. That same friend was there and I was playing the piano.

"She said, 'I'm serious. You gotta figure out how you can get the rights to a script.' Then my agent called and said, 'So Baz Luhrmann is making an Elvis film.'"

Although the actor chose to keep his friend anonymous in this telling of the story, Hudgens herself previously told the same story in 2019 when the pair were still an item.

The couple dated for almost a decade.
Alamy / ZUMA Press, Inc.

She said on Live with Kelly and Ryan: "Last December, we were driving along and we were listening to Christmas music, and then an Elvis Presley Christmas song came on.

"He had just dyed his hair dark. He's a natural blond, and I was looking at him and he was singing along and I was like, 'Babe, you need to play Elvis.'"

When a clip of Butler's recount of events was posted it to Twitter, it was captioned: "Him calling Vanessa Hudgens a 'friend' PLEASEEEE."

This went far from unnoticed by Twitter users, many of whom slagged the actor for appearing refuse to acknowledge their almost decade-long relationship.

Reacting to the clip, one fan slammed: "Men will tell you they love you and then pull some sh*t like this."

"Vanessa is fully justified in anything she does to him by the way," added a second, while a third wrote: "If she wants to run him over I’ll buy her the car."

"Imagine being with someone for so long and they processed to call you a FRIEND," remarked a fourth.

A fifth declared: "He's so disgusting I'm sorry," while another added: "He's soooo disrespectful."

Tyla has contacted Austin Butler's representatives for a comment.

Featured Image Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo Instagram/vanessahudgens

Topics: Celebrity, Sex and Relationships