Joshua Bassett rose to prominence as Ricky Bowen in the Disney+ series, which is a spinoff of the High School Musical film franchise. Bassett became seriously ill in January 2021 and was hospitalised with septic shock and heart failure. Joshua recently revealed that he was on the verge of death after receiving death threats in response to Olivia Rodrigo’s song.
When his HSMTMTS co-star Olivia Rodrigo debuted the song “Driver’s License” last year, Bassett became the subject of rumors and online attention. The song is said to be about Bassett and Rodrigo’s real-life relationship and breakup, though neither has confirmed it.
The song quickly became a hit, gaining more attention, and Bassett became the target of social media vitriol and even death threats as a result. Bassett ended up in the hospital after several days of feeling ill, suffering from septic shock and heart failure. Bassett opened up about his personal struggles in a new interview with PEOPLE.
The star of HSMTMTS recalls feeling worse and worse in the weeks leading up to his hospitalization. He stated that he slept up to 20 hours per day and that he wouldn’t stand up for more than 30 seconds. He was eventually taken to the hospital by a producer from the High School Musical series. He was told that if he had waited to be checked, he might have died.
“Every day I felt worse and worse. I was sleeping 16 to 20 hours a day. I couldn’t even stand up for longer than 30 seconds. I felt my heart literally failing. I was like, ‘This isn’t just anxiety. This is bad.’ 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.”
Bassett was released from the hospital after nine days, though he claims his mental recovery took longer. The actor credits mediation and sessions with a therapist for helping him to talk about what he went through and also process the sexual abuse he endured as a child and as a teenager.
Given his platform and celebrity status, he says he hopes that by opening up about his own trauma, he can help others feel more at ease in doing the same. He went on to say that he is aware that the journey will be difficult.
Bassett’s experience serves as a reminder of how critical it is to take care of one’s emotional and physical health before it’s too late. To get the latest updates, keep an eye on Thirsty.
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