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Demi Lovato Opens Up About Being Raped At 15, Turning To Heroin Again Post-Overdose, And More

demi lovato : dancing with the devil revelations
[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

Demi Lovato remains an open book — no matter how dark or intense the pages.

Demi has always been honest with her fans, but her new documentary Dancing with the Devil seems to be taking things to the next level. The doc will be released in four parts on March 23, but it premiered in full on Tuesday at the South by Southwest film festival. Unsurprisingly, the pop star dropped a number of bombshells, including her history with sexual assault and her heartbreaking relapse after her overdose.

Related: Demi Reveals She Was Left With Brain Damage After Overdose

The Sorry Not Sorry singer also sat down for a revealing New York Times interview, where she reflected on her sobriety, her breakup, and happier topics like her upcoming album Dancing with the Devil… The Art of Starting Over. The new LP includes a collab with pal Ariana Grande (who apparently convinced manager Scooter Braun to take on the Disney alum as a client).

Read on for more revelations from both interviews:

Raped at age 15

In perhaps the most upsetting recollection of all, the singer shared that she had been raped when she was 15 — seemingly by someone also in the Disney crowd. She explained:

“I lost my virginity in a rape. We were hooking up but I said, ‘Hey, this is not going any farther, I’m a virgin and I don’t want to lose it this way.’ And that didn’t matter to them, they did it anyways. And I internalized it and I told myself it was my fault because I still went in the room with him, I still hooked up with him.”

The violation led the young starlet to self-harming behaviors. She remembered:

“I was a part of that Disney crowd that publicly said they were waiting till marriage. I didn’t have the romantic first time with anybody, that was not it for me and that sucked. And then I had to see this person all the time, and so I stopped eating and coped in other ways: cutting, throwing up, whatever. And my bulimia got so bad that I started throwing up blood for the first time.”

Demi went on:

“Women are typically more oppressed than men, especially at 15 years old and especially as a little child-star role model. My Me Too story is me telling somebody that someone did this to me, and they never got in trouble for it. They never got taken out of the movie they were in.”

Assaulted by her drug dealer

Sadly, that was not the last time the 28-year-old would experience such a violation; in fact, she admitted to having her “fair share of sexual trauma throughout childhood, teenage years.” One such incident occurred alongside her infamous 2018 overdose. She said:

“I didn’t just overdose – I also was taken advantage of. … [When] they found me, I was naked, I was blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me.”

She added:

“When I woke up in the hospital, they asked if I had had consensual sex. There was one flash that I had of him on top of me. I saw that flash and I said, ‘Yes.’ It wasn’t until a month after my overdose when I realized, ‘Hey, you weren’t in any state of mind to make a consensual decision.’ That kind of trauma doesn’t go away overnight. … I was literally discarded and abandoned.”

Post-overdose relapse

The Glee alum confessed that she turned to heroin again even after her near-death experience — and turned to the same drug dealer who had assaulted and abandoned her to do it. She reflected:

“I wanted to rewrite his choice of violating me. I wanted it now to be my choice, and he also had something that I wanted, which were drugs. I ended up getting high. I thought, ‘How did I pick up the same drugs that put me in the hospital?’ I was mortified with my decisions. … It didn’t fix anything, it just made me feel worse. But that, for some reason, was my way of taking the power back.”

Misdiagnosed bipolar disorder

One surprising reveal was that Demi no longer believed she had bipolar disorder, something she has spoken openly about since her diagnosis in 2011. She explained:

“I was acting out when I was 18 for many reasons, but I know now from multiple different doctors that it was not because I was bipolar. I had to grow the f**k up.”

To the New York Times, she added:

“Turns out I have ADHD, but I’m not bipolar.”

Breaking up with Max Ehrich

We knew the doc was going to cover her breakup with Max Ehrich, and the musician didn’t disappoint. She remarked:

“Honestly, what happened? I think I rushed into something that I thought was what I was supposed to do. I realized as time went on that I didn’t actually know the person that I was engaged to.”

Regarding the drama that followed the split (mostly on Max’s part, let’s be real), she claimed to be “just as shocked as the rest of the world at some of the things that were said and done.” But speaking with the NYT, she reiterated how the breakup helped her embrace her queer identity:

“I feel like I dodged a bullet because I wouldn’t have been living my truth for the rest of my life had I confined myself into that box of heteronormativity and monogamy. And it took getting that close to shake me up and be like, wow, you really got to live your life for who you really are.”

Living With addiction

Demi had previously revealed that she wasn’t living 100% sober, and would indulge in weed an alcohol. She elaborated to the Times:

“I haven’t been by-the-book sober since the summer of 2019. I realized if I don’t allow myself some wiggle room, I go to the hard s**t. And that will be the death of me.”

Related: Demi’s Substance Abuse Was A Coping Mechanism For ‘Suicidal Ideations’

In Dancing with the Devil, she admitted:

“The one slip-up I ever had with those drugs again, the scariest thing to me was picking up heroin and realizing wow, this isn’t strong enough anymore because what I had done the night I overdosed was fentanyl. And that’s a whole other beast. Realizing the high I wanted would kill me was what I needed to get me clean for good.”

She also stated:

“I have full faith you’re not going to open up TMZ and see another overdose headline. But I also say this with humility that this is a very powerful disease. I’m not going to pretend like I’m invincible. I have to work every day to make sure that I’m in a good place so I don’t go to those things. Time and trust is the only thing that will work for people, and over time you’ll see that I’m good.”

On Billie Eilish & her future as a pop star

As far as her future in the music industry, she’s looking to the younger generation to lead the way. She shared with the NYT:

“I think it was when Billie [Eilish] started wearing the baggy clothes, that was the first time I was like, I don’t have to be the super-sexy sexualized pop star. And it also never felt that comfortable to me. Like it’s not the most natural thing to me to go onstage in a leotard.”

In crafting a new, more authentic identity, she wondered:

“If I’m not the sexualized pop star with a big voice, then what am I? I feel like ever since that awakening, I embraced my independence. I embraced the balance of both masculine and feminine parts of me. And I do feel in control more so than I’ve ever felt in my life.”

The singer concluded:

“When I look back at music in the past that was more hesitant to be as open as I am today, I feel like I just robbed myself of vulnerability in some of those songs. … I’m ready to feel like myself. I’m finally being honest with myself.”

Wow. Demi truly leaves it all on the table. We’re once again awed by and thankful for her honesty.

But shame on Disney and any adults around for not protecting her as a teen, especially when she came forward with allegations about rape.

[Image via Demi Lovato/YouTube]

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Mar 17, 2021 07:59am PDT