High School Musical star Joshua Bassett says he was sexually abused as a child by a ‘much older man’

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  • Joshua Bassett
    American actor compositor
Bassett in 2020 (Getty Images for Warner Music)
Bassett in 2020 (Getty Images for Warner Music)

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star Joshua Bassett has opened up about facing routine sexual abuse as a child.

The former teen star, who is best known for starring opposite Olivia Rodrigo in the Disney Plus spin-off series, spoke about the abuse for the first time in a new interview with GQ.

Bassett said that he had repressed the memories to the point where he only recalled them in 2020.

“I experienced sexual abuse a lot in my childhood,” Bassett said. “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.”

Bassett said that he used his new song “Set Free” to process the trauma, describing it as “an anthem for me and the sort of people who’ve held pain and power over me my whole life”.

He added that he plans to discuss the abuse further on a new podcast series in the hope that it will “help people who are experiencing that”.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

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