Austin Butler Shares Why He Called Ex Vanessa Hudgens A ‘Friend’ When Crediting Her For ‘Elvis’ Role

Austin Butler is shedding some light on why he referred to his ex-girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens merely as a friend during his “Elvis” press. In a new cover story for Esquire, the “Masters of the Air” actor was asked about how, during the lead-up to last year’s Oscars, he shared the story behind him getting the call of “Elvis,” and how a then-unnamed friend of his had previously told him he’d make a great King of Rock ‘n’ Roll onscreen. That friend was actually Vanessa, who was his partner for more than eight years, and the internet quickly connected the dots and wondered why he didn’t refer to her more clearly. Looking back now, Austin told Esquire of the incident, “Oh, yeah, I learned a lesson with that one,” and laughed. He explained to the magazine that he said it that way to protect her privacy, explaining, “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.”