Demi Lovato discusses being sexually assaulted in a new docuseries about her life.
“Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil,” a four-part series that premiered this week at the SXSW film festival, contains details about the singer’s life, including her overdose in 2018. According to reports on the premiere, Lovato said that on the night she overdosed, she was “taken advantage of” by a drug dealer who allegedly gave her heroin “laced with fentanyl.”
“When they found me, I was naked, blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me,” she says in the docuseries. “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.’”
Lovato said later in the interview that she had three strokes and a heart attack after her overdose.
The singer also told viewers that what happened in 2018 was “very similar” to something that happened to her as a teen.
“I lost my virginity in a rape,” she said, adding that she and the person who allegedly assaulted her had been “hooking up” but that she had clearly expressed she wasn’t “ready” to have sex for the first time.
“I was part of that Disney crowd that publicly said they were waiting until marriage,” Lovato said. “I didn’t have the romantic first time.”
“I had to see this person all the time, and so I stopped eating, and, you know, coped in other ways — cutting, throwing up, whatever,” she added. “My bulimia got so bad that I started throwing up blood for the first time.”
Lovato said she told adults at the time about what had happened, but the person ― who she indicated was also an actor ― “never got in trouble for it.”
“They never got taken out of the movie they were in,” she said.
Scenes from a “Camp Rock” promotion are cut into the interview, Variety reports, apparently indicating the alleged assault happened while Lovato was working for Disney.
Lovato said she later contacted her attacker in an effort to “make it right” and “take control” of the situation, but that “all it did was make me feel worse.”
The pop star said she decided to talk publicly about her experiences because all sexual assault victims “should absolutely speak their voice if they can and feel comfortable doing so.”
“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,” she said. “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.”
“Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil” premieres on YouTube on March 23. Lovato’s next album, “Dancing With the Devil … The Art of Starting Over,” is slated for release April 2.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website. Need help with substance use disorder or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.