Joshua Bassett has finally revealed the truth about how hard Olivia Rodrigo‘s song Driver’s License hit him last year. So hard he nearly died! No joke!
In case you need a refresher, Olivia dropped her hit heartbreak anthem in January 2021, which is widely speculated to be about a love triangle with her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star and their fellow Disney personality Sabrina Carpenter (though no one ever fully confirmed it).
Related: Joshua Reveals He Was Sexually Abused Throughout His Childhood
At the time of the song’s release, Joshua soon found himself in the middle of some intense online scrutiny. It became so bad the singer shockingly revealed days later on Instagram that he was hospitalized with the “worst pain” of his life as he underwent surgery. He said at the time:
“welp… not the first place i assumed i’d be on my Lie Lie Lie release day… the ER!! (before you ask, no it’s not covid.) after an unknown, uncomfortable feeling turned into, times 10, the worst pain of my life, i figured i’d just try to sleep. after multiple, very very ugly days and nights, i had no choice today but be taken to the hospital. i’d like to say thank you!!!! for all the support on the song!!! i’ve been doing what i can today to stay involved. had my first surgery tonight !”
Now Joshua has opened up in a new interview with People about the real reason for his hospital visit!
He says all of the public hate he received as a result of the megahit track — which included death threats on social media — had a major impact on his health. The singer said he had been extremely stressed from the backlash surrounding Driver’s License and eventually started feeling ill:
“I was sleeping 16 to 20 hours a day. I couldn’t even stand up for longer than 30 seconds.”
Things didn’t improve though, as he said “every day I felt worse and worse.” Nearly a week following the release of Driver’s License, he dropped his new single Lie Lie Lie, which he told the publication was already planned for release on that day way in advance, despite the speculation it was a response to Olivia’s song. But he couldn’t even celebrate his new music because his health was continuing to deteriorate:
“I felt my heart literally failing. I was like, ‘This isn’t just anxiety. This is bad.’”
Soon, a HSMTMTS producer rushed him to the hospital where doctors diagnosed him with septic shock. According to the 21-year-old, docs told him his condition could have been brought on by stress — and that if he had not gotten to the hospital in time he might have died! Whoa! Scary! He shared:
“The doctors were like, ‘If you hadn’t checked in within 12 hours, you would have died in your apartment.’ It’s wild that I was this close to taking another nap.”
After spending nine days in the hospital, the actor returned home physically recovered but was still struggling with his mental health:
“I was even more depressed and stressed. I had a panic attack every single day.”
Fast forward to December, he opened up about his side of the relationship drama — writing his trio of songs Crisis, Secret, and Set Me Free, which featured many pointed lyrics seemingly about Olivia. However, Joshua revealed that speaking his truth did not bring any relief for him, noting “that week was worse than the year combined”:
“I got what I had to say off of my chest, but it brought all that stuff back up, and the healing isn’t very linear.”
More than a year after everything that went down, though, it sounds like the actor is in a better place. He expressed to the outlet:
“In this last year a lot of my biggest fears came true. But in that, I found that I’ll always be OK, if not better off.”
Glad to hear that Joshua is doing much better after his terrifying health issues! Did Driver’s License really hit so hard it almost killed the poor kid?? It really sounds like some stans need to take these breakup songs less personally and leave those involved alone!
Reactions, Perezcious readers?
[Image via Olivia Rodrigo/YouTube, Joshua Bassett/Instagram]