Joshua Bassett opens up about being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse

29 December 2021, 16:30 | Updated: 4 January 2022, 12:43

By Sam Prance

Joshua Bassett was sexually abused by a family member at the age of five and groomed while he was in high school.

Trigger Warning: This article contains details of sexual assault.

Joshua Bassett has opened up about the sexual abuse that he experienced growing up in a new interview with Zach Sang.

Earlier this month (Dec 3), Joshua Bassett revealed in a GQ interview that he was sexually abused as a child. He stated: "I experienced sexual abuse a lot in my childhood. 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."

Now, Joshua has opened up more about being a survivor of sexual abuse and grooming throughout his childhood.

READ MORE: Joshua Bassett says he experienced "a lot of homophobia" after coming out

Joshua Bassett opens up about being sexually abused as a child
Joshua Bassett opens up about being sexually abused as a child. Picture: Amy Sussman/KCA2021/Getty Images for Nickelodeon, Zach Sang Show

Speaking on the Zach Sang Show, Joshua explained that the abuse started when he was just five years old: "It started when I was about five and it was domestic." The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star then added: "This person told me ‘You can’t tell anybody,’ so I’m thinking, if I tell anyone I’m gonna get in trouble."

Joshua then said that he was groomed in high school by another abuser: "When I was about 13 or 14 this much older guy, who was one of my close friends, started grooming me and it started becoming something else. I didn’t really fully understand what was wrong."

Joshua also said that he told his second abuser about being abused as a child: "His reaction was like, ‘Ew, what the hell, that’s disgusting. Why would you tell me that? It’s so embarrassing. That’s gross, why would you tell me that."

The 21-year-old continued: "He was the first person I had told. That was the first time I remembered, I pushed it all away again, and then last year it came back."

Joshua revealed that he's still processing his traumas and "bursts into tears" whenever he thinks about his five-year-old and 13-year-old selves. He said: "When you’re able to see the outside version of you who was being abused then you’re able to see that that person didn’t deserve that."

Joshua addresses his experiences in his new song 'Set Me Free'. He sings: "You’ve taken so much from me, but you don’t get to take all of me." He also told GQ that he is launching a new podcast series in 2022 in which he will talk frankly about sexual abuse.

Joshua says that he wants to "hopefully help people who are experiencing that". He added: "It's the podcast that I wish I had when I was a kid."

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