Joshua Bassett met Rodrigo on the set of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, which premiered on the Disney Channel back in 2019 before moving to Disney+.
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Although the pair have not publicly confirmed rumours that they dated, Bassett recently spoke to People about how Rodrigo’s hit ‘Sour’ single ‘Drivers License’ – released in January 2021 – brought on a bout of stress.
The track is believed to have been inspired by the couple’s break-up, with Bassett explaining how receiving death threats on social media impacted his health. “Every day I felt worse and worse,” he recalled of that period.
“I was sleeping 16 to 20 hours a day. I couldn’t even stand up for longer than 30 seconds.”
Bassett then released his own single, ‘Lie Lie Lie’, just six days after ‘Drivers License’ arrived. Some fans thought the song was a response to Rodrigo’s track, but he claimed it had long been scheduled to drop on the day it did.
Upon its release, Bassett “felt [his] heart literally failing” and knew something was seriously wrong. “I was like, ‘This isn’t just anxiety. This is bad’,” he went on to explain to People.
He asked a producer of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series to take him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with septic shock of the heart.
“The doctors were like, ‘If you hadn’t checked in within 12 hours, you would have died in your apartment’,” remembered Bassett, who was told that the condition could have been stress-related.
“It’s wild that I was this close to taking another nap,” he added.
Bassett was discharged from the hospital after nine days, but said he became “even more depressed and stressed” despite recovering physically. “I had a panic attack every single day,” he continued.
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Having experienced the trauma, Bassett said he felt that he emerged stronger. “In this last year a lot of my biggest fears came true,” he said. “But in that, I found that I’ll always be OK, if not better off.”
Rodrigo reflected on “going through that awful heartbreak” during a recent appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show, adding that she felt “so responsible for it too in a way”.
You can watch Rodrigo’s full interview in the video above.
Olvia Rodrigo is set to perform at Glastonbury Festival in June before embarking on a run of UK headline dates the following month. You can find any remaining tickets for her tour here.