Joshua Bassett faced a septic shock after Olivia Rodrigo’s Driver’s License release

Joshua Bassett faced a septic shock after Olivia Rodrigo’s Driver’s License release
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Joshua Bassett has revealed that he wound up in the hospital after the release of Olivia Rodrigo’s track “Driver’s License” which became an unexpected viral hit.

In January last year, 19-year-old Rodrigo released her new track, the video of which follows her as she drives around a suburban neighbourhood after receiving her driving license - something she was encouraged to do by the real-life subject of the song.

At the time of its release, a number of TikTok users speculated that Rodrigo is singing about her HSM:TM:TS co-star Bassett. In old videos, which resurfaced after “Drivers License” was released, Rodrigo said that her first time driving was with Bassett.

Fans said that Rodrigo and Bassett formed a romantic connection working on the show together, but couldn’t date as Rodrigo was only 15 at the time, while he was three years older.

However, the song seems to suggest that Rodrigo’s love interest has since moved on, as the lyrics go: “You’re probably with that blonde girl / Who always made me doubt / She’s so much older than me.”

OIivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Disney+)
OIivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Disney+)

Neither Rodrigo nor Bassett confirmed that “Drivers License” is about them, or that they were a romantic item in the first place.

After the release of the song Bassett found himself dealing with immense public scrutiny.

In a new interview with People, the 21-year-old actor spoke about how the backlash, threats, and hate he received on social media stressed him out.

“In this last year a lot of my biggest fears came true,” he told the outlet. “But in that, I found that I’ll always be ok, if not better off.”

The High School Musical star revealed that he fell really ill due to the stress which led to him being hospitalised, where he was diagnosed with septic shock.

“I was sleeping 16 to 20 hours a day,” Bassett said. “I couldn’t even stand up for longer than 30 seconds.”

“The doctors were like, ‘If you hadn’t checked in within 12 hours, you would have died in your apartment,’” he added. “It’s wild that I was this close to taking another nap.”

Bassett spent nine days in the hospital after which he claims to have been “even more depressed and stressed”.

“I had a panic attack every single day,” he said.

In December 2021, Bassett also opened up about facing routine sexual abuse as a child.

“I experienced sexual abuse a lot in my childhood,” Bassett told GQ. “I didn’t remember that until last year, which is pretty insane. I buried it so far.

“And when I was a teen, a much older man routinely abused me, and I wasn’t able to see it for what it was at the time.”

If you have been affected by this article, you can contact the following organisations for support: actiononaddiction.org.uk, mind.org.uk, nhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealth, mentalhealth.org.uk.

If you’re worried about a child, even if you’re unsure, you can contact professional counsellors at the NSPCC for help, advice and support by emailing help@nspcc.org.uk or calling 0808 800 5000. For those 18 or under, Childline offers free, confidential advice and support whatever your worry, whenever you need help. Call 0800 1111 or Contact Childline.