Penn Badgley Reveals How His Relationship With Blake Lively 'Saved' Him

Penn Badgley Reveals How His Relationship With Blake Lively 'Saved' Him


Looking back fondly. Penn Badgley revealed how his relationship with Blake Lively changed the course of his life — for the better.

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While reflecting on his “fun and fast-paced” Gossip Girl days in a Wednesday, February 15, interview with Variety, Badgley, 36, credited Lively, 35, with keeping him from turning to drugs and alcohol at the time.

“To be honest, I never struggled with substance. Blake didn’t drink, and I think our relationship in some ways saved me from forcing myself to go down that road,” the You star said.

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The costars dated from 2007 to 2010 while playing on-again, off-again couple Dan Humphrey and Serena van der Woodsen on the CW teen drama. After their split, the twosome continued to have an amicable relationship.

“They’re professionals,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly of the pair in October 2010. “They’re still good friends and hang out on the set.”

Fellow Gossip Girl alum Chace Crawford echoed the sentiment during an August 2019 appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. When asked whether Badgley and Lively’s breakup caused drama behind the scenes, the Boys actor replied, “Not at all. Not in the least. Most mature people in the world.”

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The exes have both moved on since their romance. The Simple Favor actress exchanged vows with Ryan Reynolds in 2012. The pair share three daughters — James, 8, Inez, 6, and Betty, 3 — and a fourth child whose name and gender have not been publicly released. Lively seemingly confirmed via Instagram on Sunday, February 12, that she had given birth to baby No. 4.

“Puppy Bowl Sunday 2023 🥘 🍲 🥧 been busy,” the Ryhythm Section star captioned a photo with Reynolds, 46, and his mom, Tammy Reynolds, that showed her with no baby bump.

Badgley, for his part, shares son James, 2, with wife Domino Kirke, whom he wed in 2017. He is also stepdad of Kirke’s son, Cassius, 13, from her previous marriage to Morgan O’Kane. The Easy A actor recently opened up about wanting to do fewer sex scenes due to his marriage.

“I asked [You creator] Sera Gamble, ‘Can I just do no more intimacy scenes?’” he revealed during a Thursday, February 9, episode of his “Podcrushed” podcast. “This is actually a decision I’d made before I took the show.”

Badgley continued: “I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it publicly, but one of the main things was, like, do I want to put myself back on a career path where I’m just always the romantic lead? Fidelity in every relationship, and especially my marriage, is really important to me.”

Penn Badgley and Domino Kirke’s Relationship Timeline

The Young and the Restless alum added that he told Gamble, 39, that his “desire would be … to go from 100 to zero” with his character’s sex scenes on You.

“She didn’t even bat an eye,” Badgley said, praising the producer for her response to his request. “She was really glad that I was that honest, and she had a really positive response. She appreciated my directness, and she appreciated that I was being reasonable and practical. And they came back with a phenomenal reduction.”

After the John Tucker Must Die actor’s comments sparked a public debate, he doubled down on his stance.

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“It’s not a place where I’ve blurred lines,” Badgley told Variety. “There’s almost nothing I could say with more consecration. That aspect of Hollywood has always been very disturbing to me — and that aspect of the job, that mercurial boundary — has always been something that I actually don’t want to play with at all.”

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