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Joshua Bassett says he has 'a right to stand up for myself' amid Olivia Rodrigo's 'Drivers License' popularity

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 12/3/2021 Megan Armstrong, Yardbarker
Joshua Bassett used to be in a relationship with pop star Olivia Rodrigo. © Sipa USA Joshua Bassett used to be in a relationship with pop star Olivia Rodrigo.

From the moment Olivia Rodrigo released "Drivers License" in early January, the assumption has been that it is about the messy end of a relationship with her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series costar Joshua Bassett.

Bassett has mostly kept a low profile but opened up to GQ's Willa Bennett for this new profile.

"I have a right to stand up for myself," Bassett said.

The 20-year-old actor and musician also described being at a coffee shop last summer where the staff taunted him by playing Rodrigo songs until he left. Bassett's three singles out today (Dec. 3)—"Crisis," "Secret" and "Set Me Free"—are his side of the story. (Elsewhere in the profile, Bassett revealed that "Set Me Free" is partially about the sexual abuse he endured as a teenager.)

"People don't realize how long ago that was," Bassett told Bennett of his situation with Rodrigo, 18, who he noted hasn't talked to him since "Drivers License" dropped. "It's not as recent as it seems. I'm a completely different person now. ... I’m not here to expose people. It was eating me alive, and I couldn’t keep it in anymore."

"Drivers License" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and enjoyed a record-breaking run there. It is responsible for three—best pop solo performance, record of the year and song of the year—of Rodrigo's seven nominations for the upcoming 64th Grammy Awards.

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