Five months after Charlie Heaton was denied entry into the United States for alleged drug possession, causing him to miss the season two premiere of his hit Netflix show Stranger Things, he’s opening up about the incident.
“It was f—— awful. It was just awful,” the 24-year-old actor told Flaunt Magazine of both the media attention that followed his detainment, and being sent back to the United Kingdom, where he’s from.
He added, “It was hard. Everything happened so fast, and I hadn’t come to terms with the fact that I was famous. When something steps in from the work you are doing and breaks into your personal life…you feel kind of vulnerable. All of a sudden it becomes a very big story and it gets really blown out of proportion.”
Heaton was at Los Angeles International Airport in October of last year when he was detained for alleged cocaine possession.
In a statement to PEOPLE at the time, he said, “My planned travel to the U.S. last week was affected by an issue at U.S. immigration, and I am working to rectify it as soon as possible.”
“I do want to clarify that I was not arrested or charged with a crime, and cooperated fully with the U.S. officials at LAX. I’m sorry to all the fans and my Stranger Things family for missing the premiere. We are all so proud of this season and I would never want this story to negatively impact the show.”
Heaton told Flaunt the attention was not only difficult for him but also for his family, who faced “hard” and “upsetting” speculation over the incident.
“At the end of the day I just wanted to go back. I want to work and continue to work—that’s all I’ve ever done,” he told Flaunt.
Heaton, who reiterated that he was not arrested or charged with a crime, told Flaunt everything has been settled and he’s allowed back into the United States.
“Yeah, it’s all sorted now,” he explained to Flaunt. “We go back in April so I plan to go back to America next month, and yes, I can go back.”
Since the incident, Heaton has stepped out with costar and real-life girlfriend Natalia Dyer at events in the U.K., including the 2017 Fashion Awards in December and National Television Awards in January.