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Actor Joshua Bassett was hours away from death in January when he was hospitalised with septic shock and heart failure.
The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star hit headlines at the start of the year when his TV co-star Olivia Rodrigo released her debut single, Drivers License - a heartbreak anthem many believed to be about her rumoured romance and split from Bassett, who it was claimed moved on to date fellow singer/actress Sabrina Carpenter.
However, the 20-year-old insists he wasn't paying attention to the gossip and the controversy at the time, because he was going through a health crisis which ended up with his hospitalisation.
"(I) started getting very ill, and it kept getting worse," he told GQ magazine.
"I thought it was, like, food poisoning or whatever. It got worse, it got worse, it got worse, it got worse."
He was admitted to a hospital with "unimaginable pain" on the same day he released his own song, Lie Lie Lie, which fans thought was his response to Rodrigo's Drivers License.
Although he doesn't delve into the cause of his illness, he said, "I'm sure stress had a part in it."
Doctors ended up diagnosing him with septic shock and heart failure - and admitted he could have died had he not sought emergency medical attention when he did.
"(The doctors) told me that I had a 30 per cent chance of survival," Bassett revealed. "They told me that if I had not checked into the hospital within 12 hours, I would have been found (dead) in my apartment."
As a result of his health hell, Bassett ignored the social media love triangle gossip online: "(I) didn't have any energy to be able to focus on anything but staying alive," he said.
And he still has no interest in discussing the furore.
"(Everyone) is asking me about Sabrina and Olivia," Bassett told the publication. "Why don't we focus on these women for who they are? Let's focus on the art that they're making and how great they are instead of their relationship to a boy."
The actor also used the GQ interview to confirm he wasn't straight, after previously sharing his attraction to pop star Harry Styles, although he doesn't want to define his sexuality.
"There are plenty of letters in the alphabet... Why bother rushing to a conclusion?," he asked.
"Sometimes your letter changes, sometimes you try a different one, other times you realise you're not what you thought you were, or maybe you always knew. All of these can be true. I'm happy to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community because they embrace all."