Joshua Bassett is speaking on how he is healing from childhood trauma.
“I experienced sexual abuse a lot in my childhood,” the 20-year-old told GQ. “I didn’t remember that until last year, which is pretty insane. I buried it so far.”
He added, “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.”
In the interview, Bassett shares how the track “Set Me Free” also speaks on his journey of processing the trauma he suffered.
“[It’s] an anthem for me and the sort of people who’ve held pain and power over me my whole life,” he said, before referencing the the song lyric: “You’ve taken so much from me but you don’t get to take all of me.”
The singer also goes on to say how he plans to share more about his childhood sexual abuse on a “heavy talks” podcast that will “hopefully help people who are experiencing that.”
It’s “the podcast that I wish I had when I was a kid,” he said, before adding that he’s now “so much stronger than I was before.”
Following the release of Olivia Rodrigo‘s song “drivers license,” many speculated the focus of the song was on Bassett and painted him as the antagonist (the two were former co-stars who dated).
In the interview, Bassett said that “people haven’t seen me as a human being” over the past year.
Bassett said that he has “a right to stand up for myself,” and is “glad” that it took him this long to release the songs “Crisis,” “Secret” and “Set Me Free,” which were written six months ago.
“I finally found the courage to speak up for myself,” he said. “I’m not here to expose people. It was eating me alive, and I couldn’t keep it in anymore.”
And while he didn’t name names, he did reveal that “Crisis” is about “all the crazy PR over the year.”
The track features lyrics like: “And honestly I didn’t want to write this / Don’t know if I can / Still holding back, still want to run / And if you get to tell your truth then so do I / And it’s cool if you want me to play the bad guy / But don’t you dare act like I didn’t love you.”
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