Demi Lovato is opening up about “triggering” comments about her body right after her 2018 overdose
In the run-up to the release of her YouTube documentary, Dancing With the Devil, we’re learning more and more about Demi Lovato’s near-fatal 2018 overdose — which will be the subject of most of the documentary when it premieres later today. Demi has spoken in the past about how an untreated eating disorder contributed to her relapse in 2018, but now she’s opening up for the first time about the extent to which she was affected by “triggering” comments about her body, especially in the media at the time.
In a new interview with Paper magazine, Lovato describes leaving the rehab facility that she was transferred to straight from the hospital after her overdose, and immediately seeing disparaging comments about her body and weight in the coverage of one of the hardest events of her life.
“It was right after I got out of rehab in 2018,” she said. “I saw an article somewhere that said I was morbidly obese. That’s the most triggering thing that you could possibly write about somebody with an eating disorder.”
Lovato continued, “That sucked. “I wanted to quit [sobriety.] I wanted to use. I wanted to give up.”
The only way she was able to combat those feelings was to make a promise to herself: That she would stop looking at any and all news coverage of herself while she worked to heal and protect her sobriety.
“I just realized that if I don’t look at those things then they can’t affect me,” she said. “So I stopped looking and I just really try not to look at anything negative. I think the positives outweigh the negatives. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing this.”
Lovato’s comments come at a time when we’re having a moment of national reckoning over the way news outlets have treated female pop stars, from Lindsay Lohan to Janet Jackson to Britney Spears.
Spears was the subject of a recent New York Times documentary that showed in harrowing detail how relentless harassment from the paparazzi and news media led to her public breakdown, which was widely mocked at the time it happened. Looking back, anyone with even a shred of empathy can see that no one could have withstood the kind of relentless, negative attention that was showered on famous young women.
Dancing With the Devil will be the most intimate look yet at Lovato’s overdose and her struggle for sobriety. The first episode will be released on YouTube today at 2 p.m. Eastern.