Penn Badgley Said His Relationship With Blake Lively ‘Saved’ Him From a Dark Road

It sounds like Penn Badgley has great respect for his former costar and girlfriend, Blake Lively.

In an interview with Variety, Badgley discussed his prior relationship with Lively, with whom he was romantically involved with for three years during their time on “Gossip Girl,” which aired from 2007 to 2012.

“Beyond our relationship, I don’t think anybody was going to be interested in me publicly,” Badgley told the publication.

Yet, life in the spotlight was not always as spectacular as it appeared. In back on the show’s six-season run, Badgley recalls those years as both “fun and fast-paced” as well as having a “dark undercurrent that would bottom out in my later 20s.

While he stated that the feeling was not related to any substance abuse, he did credit the A Simple Favor star with being a positive influence on him. “To be honest, I never struggled with substance,” the 36-year-old told the outlet. “Blake didn’t drink, and I think our relationship in some ways saved me from forcing myself to go down that road.”

As Badgley—who admitted there was a time when he “didn’t want to be in television”—explained, that darkness stemmed from “nothing short of a spiritual crisis.”

“Like anybody who experiences some degree of fame and wealth,” he stated, “I was presented with the universal truth that not only does it not make your life better or easier, it actually can greatly complicate things, and make you quite unhappy.”

And he felt lost. “I was never anything that I would define as suicidal at all, but I was certainly in a despair,” Badgley continued. “It had to do with ‘Do I matter? Do I matter? Does anything matter?’ These questions do inform how we feel. The answer that I came upon was ‘Yes.’ I think we all have to come to that. I don’t know how you could come to ‘No’ and be happy, so we all have to come to that ‘Yes’ somehow. Probably repeatedly.”

Badgley, who is currently starring in the hit Netflix series “You,” married singer and actress Domino Kirke in 2017. Lively has been married to actor Ryan Reynolds since 2012 and the couple recently welcomed their fourth child together.

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