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Penn Badgley reveals Blake Lively once convinced him that Steven Tyler was his father

Penn Badgley has confessed that his ex Blake Lively once tricked him into thinking that Steven Tyler was his father.

The 37-year-old actor shared the story about the Gossip Girl co-star, who he dated from 2007 to 2010, during an episode of his Podcrushed podcast. While sharing his thoughts about pranks, specifically how he doesn’t care for them, he revealed that Lively was “actually very serious about them”.

He then shared the “remarkable prank” that his ex pulled on him, noting that she “got many people” involved in it, including his mother, Lynne Badgley.

“I get an email, just like: ‘There’s this press item we’re trying to kill but just so you know, somebody thinks, or Steven Tyler thinks, he’s your dad,” he explained. “And I didn’t even think about it for a moment because who would in their right mind would think that that’s true?”

However, the You star shared that the publicist still contacted him for a few days, claiming that the Aerosmith frontman himself believed the rumor. Badgley acknowledged that while he didn’t think the concept was true at that point, he still questioned why Tyler would.

“But I’m just like: ‘How could Steven Tyler believe this? Like, there’s no way. You have to be kidding. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith thinks that I’m his?’” he continued.

He then shared that amid his confusion, Lively encouraged him to call his mother, which he did. During that conversation, his mother, who Badgley said was not a prankster, followed along with the bit and said her son was related to Tyler.

“She’s upset, and I’m like: ‘Mom, why are you upset?” he recalled. “And then she takes a pause, that is like the pause that sold me, and she goes: ‘Why do you think we moved out of Maryland?’”

Badgley – whose parents, Duff and Lynne, divorced when he was a child – admitted that he briefly fell for the prank.

“And I’m telling you, for something like five to seven seconds, which is a long time… I was speechless, and my world was rearranging. I was like: ‘Are you f***ing kidding me? I am Steven Tyler’s son.”

He described how he not only realized that Tyler wasn’t his father, but he also then discovered that Lively was the one who pulled the prank.

“I looked at her and she probably at that point couldn’t keep a straight face. And I’m like: ‘Ugh it’s April Fools,” he said. “I was impressed. I was like: ‘Wow. You really put in a lot of work, and it worked. For it to work at all, that’s hard.”

In the early 2000s, Badgley starred in Gossip Girl as budding writer Dan Humphrey, while Lively played his on-screen love interest, Serena van der Woodsen. Off-screen, the actors dated for three years while filming the series.

Since then, Badgley has spoken candidly about his romance with The Age of Adaline star. During an interview with Variety in February 2023, he reflected on his time on the teen drama, saying there was a “dark undercurrent” to his time on the show as he grappled with fame in his twenties.

When asked whether that “darkness” was related to substance abuse, Badgley replied: “To be honest, I never struggled with substances.”

He also explained that Lively had a positive influence on him and prevented him from experimenting. “Blake didn’t drink, and I think our relationship in some ways saved me from forcing myself to go down that road,” he said.

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