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24 March 2022, 16:25 | Updated: 24 March 2022, 16:54
Joshua Basset, who was thought to be the inspiration behind Olivia Rodrigo’s heartbreak track ‘Drivers License’ was hospitalised due to stress following the release of the song.
At the time, Joshua posted on Instagram following surgery to tell fans he was in the ‘the worst pain of his life’ while the internet was alight with rumours ‘Drivers License’ was about him, though neither have ever confirmed their relationship.
In an interview with People Joshua said the stress from the hate he was receiving – including death threats – on social media hit him hard and he began to feel severely unwell. He found himself in hospital after several days of feeling ill, where doctors told him if he’d held off seeking medical help any longer he would have died in his apartment.
"I was sleeping 16 to 20 hours a day," he recalled. "I couldn't even stand up for longer than 30 seconds,” he said of the run-up to his hospitalisation.
Six days after 'Drivers License' debuted, the High School Musical: The Musical – The series actor dropped song "Lie Lie Lie," which he says had always been scheduled for despite speculation it was written in response to Rodrigo's single.
But instead of feeling excitement for his new song, "I felt my heart literally failing," says Bassett. "I was like, 'This isn't just anxiety. This is bad.'"
A HSMTMTS producer took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with septic shock. They told him: “’If you hadn't checked in within 12 hours, you would have died in your apartment,'" explained the young star, who was also told his illness could have been brought on by stress.
“It's wild that I was this close to taking another nap,” he added.
Nine days later, Joshua left the hospital but said he suffered from panic attacks ‘every single day’.
Joshua wasn’t the only star pulled into the ‘Drivers License’ meaning rumours; Sabrina Carpenter was thought to be ‘that blonde girl’ Olivia references in her hit single.
None of the trio have ever commented or confirmed their relationship, but their respective heartbreak singles are heavily thought to be about the love triangle; Sabrina released ‘Skin’ a few weeks after ‘Drivers License'.