Joshua Bassett Tears Up as He Opens Up on Childhood Sexual Abuse

The lead actor of the new 'High School Musical' series gets emotional as he talks about his struggle with painful childhood trauma and 'media storm' following Olivia Rodrigo's 'Drivers License'.

AceShowbiz - Joshua Bassett revealed he was sexually abused when he was a child. The Disney star, now 20, kept it secret for a long time because he only remembered the painful trauma last year.

"I experienced sexual abuse a lot in my childhood," he cried in an interview with 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."

He has left his West Village apartment and now lives "nowhere." When he's not recording music, he picked up self-help books, did some journaling, and underwent therapy twice a week.

"I went to Spain with a couple of friends. There was one night in particular. I finally let go... I scream-cried for three and a half hours to the point where I lost my voice for two weeks," he opened up.

He talked about the abuse in one of his new songs titled "Set Me Free". He called it "an anthem for [him] and the sort of people who've held pain and power over [him] [his] whole life." He added, "You've taken so much from me, but you don't get to take all of me."

While still processing his resurfaced childhood trauma, Bassett was hit with "media storm" after co-star and rumored ex Olivia Rodrigo debuted her breakup tale "Drivers License" and seemingly dedicated her whole album to an ex whom many believed to be Bassett, the rumors which she never clarified.

"I would see TikToks with like 50 million views and 10 million likes saying, 'If I ever see that kid on the street, I'm going to f**king kill him,' " the actor/singer said. "It's hard to see that and then be living in New York and walking down the street."

He was silent at the height of the controversy because "it sort of felt like a losing battleā€¦ If I try and defend myself in any way, it just felt impossible," he explained, adding that he tried to reach out to the "Sour" star, but she completely shut him out following her debut.

Now he's finally found the courage to speak for himself. He discussed "all the crazy PR over the year" in a track called "Crisis", which included lyrics, "Weren't you the one who left in the first place /Weren't you the one who called things off."

He blasted his unnamed ex for twisting the truth in order to get public's sympathy. "Messing with my life as a career move /I can't help but think why you won't make it end...," he vented his frustrations. "You sensationalize and keep fanning the fire for the sake of headlines."

"I'm not here to expose people. It was eating me alive, and I couldn't keep it in anymore," Bassett said during the interview. "I've only had three [relationships], despite what it seems."

He's single now and not rushing to date anyone. Calling his current love life "non-existent," he noted, "I think that's something that's been good about this last little bit: I'm good on my own. I don't need somebody else."

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