Demi Lovato is opening up for the first time about being raped, and her stories will make your heart ache
We already know that Demi Lovato‘s upcoming YouTube documentary, Dancing With the Devil, is going to come with a lot of bombshell revelations about the singer’s life and career. But ahead of its March 23 release, the documentary was shown at the South by Southwest virtual festival on Tuesday and as part of the series, Demi opens up publicly for the first time about one story the documentary is going to tell: her sexual assaults.
Lovato says she was most recently sexually assaulted on the night of her 2018 overdose.
“I didn’t just overdose. I was taken advantage of,” she says in Dancing With the Devil. “When they found me, I was naked, blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me.”
Lovato continues, “When I woke up in the hospital, they asked if we 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 the overdose that I realized, ‘You weren’t in any state of mind to make a consensual decision.'”
But the most heartbreaking part about that story might be why Lovato hasn’t come forward about it before. She says she was afraid no one would believe her — because the first time she was raped, she was 15, and the adults she told about the attack didn’t do anything to help her.
“When I was a teenager, I was in a very similar situation. I lost my virginity in a rape,” she says. “I was part of that Disney crowd that publicly said they were waiting until marriage. I didn’t have the romantic first time. That was not it for me—that sucked. Then I had to see this person all the time so I stopped eating and coped in other ways.”
Lovato explained about the aftermath of her rape, saying, “I really beat myself up for years, which is also why I had a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that it was a rape when it happened. We were hooking up but I said, ‘Hey, this is not going any further. 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.”
“I’m coming forward about what happened to me because everyone that happens to should absolutely speak their voice if they can and feel comfortable doing so,” she said. “Women are typically more repressed than men, especially at 15 years old, and especially as a little child star role model who’s supposed to be perfect, who had a promise ring! So what—I’m supposed to come out to the public after saying I have a promise ring? Six months later, I’m supposed to say, well I had sex—even though it was rape! Some people aren’t going to see it that way.”
And while Lovato told adults in her life about what had happened, her attacker “never got in trouble for it.”
“They never got taken out of the movie they were in,” she said. “But I’ve always kept it quiet because I’ve always had something to say and it’s like, I don’t know, I’m tired of opening my mouth.”
Dancing With the Devil debuts on YouTube on March 23.
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