Subject Of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” Says Song Led To His Hospitalization

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Subject Of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” Says Song Led To His Hospitalization

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” was blowing up back in the early days of 2021, many people used context clues to determine the song was about Joshua Bassett, Rodrigo’s ex-boyfriend and costar in the Disney+ TV series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Neither Rodrigo nor Bassett has ever confirmed this, but it was enough of a widely held assumption that it led to quite a bit of negative attention for Bassett. In a new interview, Bassett says the stress from the “Drivers License” fallout landed him in the hospital.

Bassett tells People that after several days of rampant online scrutiny, including death threats on social media, he fell ill. For a week, “every day I felt worse and worse.” Bassett says he was sleeping as much as 16 to 20 hours a day and could not stand up for longer than 30 seconds. When he released his single “Lie Lie Lie” six days after “Drivers License” dropped — he says it had been previously scheduled and was not written in response to Rodrigo’s song — instead of excitement, “I felt my heart literally failing. I was like, ‘This isn’t just anxiety. This is bad.'”

A producer from the TV show took Bassett to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with septic shock. He says the doctors told him he would have died in his apartment if he had waited 12 more hours to come. After nine days in the hospital, he returned home and went straight back to having panic attacks every day. Bassett credits yoga, meditation, and therapy for helping him get past the ordeal. Hopefully he hasn’t listened to the rest of Sour.

In related news, Rodrigo’s concert film driving home 2 u hits Disney+ tomorrow.

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