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Joshua Bassett was 'routinely abused' as a teen by 'a much older man'

The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series actor opens up about the abuse in his new music, released on Friday 3 December.

2021-12-07

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Petros Kouiouris

Joshua Bassett has revealed he was sexually abused “by a much older man” when he was younger.

The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series actor opened up about his experiences as he released three new songs which deal with the tumultuous year the 20-year-old has had.

On Friday (3 December) Bassett release three new singles – ‘Crisis’, ‘Secret’, and ‘Set Me Free’ which reflect on his experiences of abuse as well as, seemingly, his past relationship with Olivia Rodrigo.

“I buried it so far”

In an interview with GQ to mark the release of the emotional singles Bassett said he’d been “routinely abused” as a teenager but that “I buried it so far”.

“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 continues. He tells the interviewer ‘Set Me Free’ deals in part with the abuse calling it “an anthem for me and the sort of people who’ve held pain and power over me my whole life.”

"[I'm] so much stronger than I was before," Bassett maintains. 

While the three songs were written more than six months ago, Joshua says he wasn't ready for them to come out yet and he's glad it's taken a while. "I finally found the courage to speak up for myself," he adds.

Elsewhere in the interview, Bassett discusses the supposed breakup with Rodrigo, which fans have speculated was referenced in Rodrigo’s hit ‘Driver’s Licence’. His song ‘Crisis’ he confirms addresses “all the crazy PR over the year”.

Lyrics such as ‘If you get to tell your truth then so do I’ and ‘Half the s*** you’re saying is only half true, messing with my life as a career move,’ indicate Bassett is telling his side of a breakup.

On the new music, Joshua says in a press release: “While it’s been one of the most challenging periods in my lifetime by far; it has ultimately led to immense growth. I’ve been up, down, and everywhere in between. Each of these songs pinpoints a different moment in time, in my processing.”

The young multi-hyphenate came out as a member of the LGBTQ community earlier this year telling Attitude afterward that it was “liberating” to publicly address his sexuality.

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