During an interview with GQ released on Thursday, June 24, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star, 20, reflected on what he went through at the start of 2021. Not only was Joshua riddled with questions about his relationship status following the release of Olivia Rodrigo‘s “Drivers License” — the song is rumored to be about their past relationship — but he was also dealing with pretty serious health issues out of the public eye. Joshua told the magazine that two days after “Drivers License” dropped on January 8 he “started getting very ill, and it kept getting worse.”
“I thought it was, like, food poisoning or whatever. It got worse, it got worse, it got worse, it got worse,” the singer recalled. It wasn’t until the day of his song’s release on January 14 that Joshua experienced “unimaginable pain” and went to the hospital. While he was there, the Disney+ star was diagnosed with septic shock and heart failure.
“[The doctors] told me that I had a 30 percent chance of survival. They told me that if I had not checked into the hospital within 12 hours, I would have been found [dead] in my apartment,” Joshua told GQ, noting that he “didn’t have any energy to be able to focus on anything but staying alive.”
While in the hospital, Joshua shared a video with fans via social media. At the time, he revealed that he was undergoing surgery, but didn’t specify for what.
“Not the first place I assumed I’d be on my ‘Lie Lie Lie’ release day … the ER!! (Before you ask, no it’s not COVID),” he wrote on Instagram at the time. “After an unknown, uncomfortable feeling turned into, times 10, the worst pain of my life, I figured I’d just try to sleep. After multiple, very very ugly days and nights, I had no choice today but be taken to the hospital. … Had my first surgery tonight! Gonna rest at the hospital and the doctors will see what they see in the morn!”
While Joshua was battling health issues, the internet was abuzz about whether or not the song he had just released, “Lie Lie Lie” was about rumored ex-girlfriend Olivia, and whether or not he really moved on with Sabrina Carpenter. Touching on this during his GQ interview, Joshua noted that he’s “biting my tongue, in a lot of ways” about the drama.
“The reality is, it’s kind of like a lost cause trying to talk about any of that stuff, and I refuse to feed into any of the bulls–t, so I just don’t,” the former Disney Channel star explained. “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.”
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