Skip to main content

Vanessa Hudgens under investigation for defacing a rock and posting on Instagram

vanessa hudgens criminal rock carving coconino national forest
Coconino National Forest/Flickr
It seems as though criminals getting themselves busted after oversharing their crimes on social media is commonplace these days. Just over the past year, there have been actual instances of robberies posted on Facebook and even people Periscoping themselves drinking and driving and carrying out other types of crimes. But we certainly didn’t expect someone like Vanessa Hudgens to be someone who would put herself in such a bind.

However, Vanessa Hudgens, best known for her role as Gabriella Montez in the highly popular High School Musical series, could very well be in some serious trouble. While celebrating Valentine’s Day in Sedona, Arizona with her boyfriend, Austin Butler, it seems that the star may have illegally carved “Austin + Vanessa” in a heart onto a rock formation at the Red Rock Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest, according to TMZ.

And, to make matters worse for the star, she posted a photo of the carving on Instagram. Although the image has since been removed, it not only inspired a criminal investigation, but the locals are also not too happy with Hudgens.

❤️❤️ @austinbutler #sedonadreams

A photo posted by Vanessa Hudgens (@vanessahudgens) on

Authorities are currently searching for the rock in the Instagram photo, but there’s no doubt that either Hudgens or Butler are responsible for the engraving. Not only was the image posted to Hudgen’s Instagram account, but she also tagged Butler in the posting and included the hashtag #sedonadreams. To fans of the star, the engraving may seem a harmless way for Hudgens and Butler to express their love in a sort of old-school manner. The forest’s public affairs office, however, takes the matter much more seriously, and told The Post, “Carving of any kind affects the natural beauty of the area,” and “when one person carves something, it encourages others to carve.”

According to TMZ, punishment for violating the federal law prohibiting “damaging natural surfaces or property of the United States” can include a fine of $5,000 and/or six months in jail.

It isn’t yet clear whether or not authorities will prosecute Hudgens and Butler, but in the future, the couple may want to find less damaging, and less illegal, ways to celebrate their relationship.

Christina Majaski
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Christina has written for print and online publications since 2003. In her spare time, she wastes an exorbitant amount of…
Instagram further restricts content for new accounts under 16
Three mobile screenshots showing Instagram's Sensitive Content Control settings.

Months after expanding its Sensitive Content Control feature, Instagram has recently announced further updates to it that are focused on the privacy and safety of its teen users.

On Thursday, Instagram published an updated version of its June 6 Sensitive Content Control expansion blog post announcement. In the updated version, the popular photo- and video-sharing app detailed additional measures it would take to protect its younger users. These measures include defaulting the accounts of new teen users to the "Less" Sensitive Content Control option, sending other teens prompts that recommend that they choose the "Less" option, and experimental prompts that nudge teen users to review and update their privacy and safety settings.

Read more
The more Instagram copies TikTok, the more I hate using it
Someone holding an iPhone. The screen shows a full-screen Instagram post.

Instagram doesn't know when to quit being like TikTok. Last month, the Meta-owned social media company transformed the photo-sharing platform into a TikTok hellscape, reformatting the posts from a 4:5 to 9:16 frame regardless of whether they're images or videos. Everyone and the Kardashians slammed Instagram for redesigning the app this way, and two weeks ago, Instagram turned it back to its original form.

You'd think that Instagram would have learned its lesson, right? Wrong. According to a report from The Verge last week, CEO Adam Mosseri said during his weekly AMA that Instagram will start re-testing ultra-tall 9:16 photos within the next few weeks.

Read more
Instagram now lets you buy products right through chat
Instagram app on the Google Play Store on an Android smartphone.

Instagram's latest chat feature has nothing to do with chat themes and everything to do with being able to pay for products via direct message.

On Monday, Instagram's parent company, Meta, announced the new payment-by-chat feature via a tweet.

Read more