Content warning: The following piece contains mentions of sexual assault, abuse, and trauma and may be triggering for some. If you or someone you know is in need of help, please dial the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit RAINN for more resources.
Amid the release of his brand-new songs, "Crisis," "Secrets," and "Set Me Free," Joshua Bassett is getting candid about his personal life and everything he's gone through in the past year. Olivia Rodrigo's "Drivers License" is allegedly inspired by the downfall of their romantic relationship and after it was released in January, Joshua received hateful messages and death threats online. He also shared that he was hospitalized shortly after with a "30 percent chance" of surviving from heart failure and septic shock. He has had quite an eventful year, and he revealed that he is working on himself in a new interview with GQ.
During the interview, Joshua admitted that he moved out of his West Village apartment in New York and now lives "nowhere" as he reads self-help books, journals, and regularly sees a therapist. At the midway point of the conversation, he teared up while revealing he had "experienced sexual abuse a lot" during his childhood.
"I didn't remember that until last year, which is pretty insane. I buried it so far," he told the outlet. "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." His song, "Set Me Free" is about processing the experience, and he describes it as "an anthem for me and the sort of people who've held pain and power over me my whole life…you've taken so much from me, but you don’t get to take all of me."
The 20-year-old High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star will dive deeper into his personal experience on an episode of a podcast series he's launching in 2022. He explains that it's "dedicated to heavy talks" and that it will be "the podcast that [he] wish [he] had when [he] was a kid."
Although Joshua feels "so much stronger than [he] was before," he still takes caution while out in public. "I got a protector screen on my phone so people can't look at it when I'm at a coffee shop. There are certain people who I can't hang out with in public because they're too loud," he added. "I feel like a lot of this last year people haven't seen me as a human being."
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