stronger today

‘High School Musical’ star Joshua Bassett reveals years of sexual abuse

Bassett in ‘High School Musical’

Following his coming out earlier this year, and the release of three new singles, Joshua Bassett has revealed he endured years of sexual abuse. The actor/singer also shared that he learned to cope with the pain by composing new music.

Bassett spoke candidly about his experience in a new interview with GQ as part of the promotion of his three new songs, “Crisis,” “Secret,” and “Set Me Free.” While he does not identify his attacker, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star did reveal that the abuse went on for some time, and he has only recently begun to cope with the trauma.

“I experienced sexual abuse a lot in my childhood,” Bassett, told the magazine, breaking down in tears. “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.”

Related: How Joshua Bassett went from Internet villain to queer hero in a single day

Bassett described his song “Set Me Free” 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.”

He also revealed plans for a podcast series about surviving sexual abuse and trauma. The actor called it “the podcast that I wish I had when I was a kid.”

Despite the painful admissions, Bassett further insists he feels “so much stronger than I was before.”

“I finally found the courage to speak up for myself,” he adds of the ordeal

Joshua Bassett has spent 2021 in the headlines thanks to his ongoing role on High School Musical, and a personal crisis that nearly took his life. In January 2021, Bassett checked into the hospital suffering from septic shock and heart failure; doctors only gave him a 30% chance of survival. In May of that year, Bassett also came out as a member of the LGBTQ community, after he made a comment about his attraction to singer Harry Styles. Amid accusations of queerbaiting, Bassett declared his bisexuality, saying “I’m happy to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community because they embrace all.”