Singer and songwriter Demi Lovato got even more real as she revealed in her much-awaited docuseries that she was sexually assaulted twice—at 15 years old, and in 2018 by her drug dealer on the night of her near-fatal drug overdose.
The four-episode docuseries—which made its world premiere at the virtual SXSW Film Festival recently—focuses on Lovato’s drug overdose that caused her brain damage, partial blindness, and her struggles with drug addiction.
It also contains details of alleged sexual assault Lovato went through twice, which she has not discussed publicly.
“I lost my virginity in a rape,” Lovato divulges in the documentary.
She recalls the alleged assault happened during the time when “I was part of the Disney crowd,” who were known to wear “purity rings” and have pledged to wait until marriage to have sex.
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“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,” she recounts. “That didn’t matter to them—they did it anyways.”
Lovato, who dubbed the incident “My #MeToo story,” says she reported the alleged attacker but “they never got in trouble for it—they never got taken out of the movie they were in.” She also says she had to see the person all the time following the assault.
She admits that it took years for her to process the trauma and to come into terms with what exactly happened to her at. She says at the time, she suffered an eating disorder and started to harm herself to cope.
“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, you know, coped in other ways—cutting, throwing up, whatever,” she recalls.
Also in the docuseries, which is set for release on March 23 in Lovato’s YouTube channel, the pop star also reveals that her drug dealer sexually assaulted her on the night of her near-fatal drug overdose in 2018, from which she suffered three strokes and a heart attack.
“When they found me, I was naked, blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me,” says Lovato.
“When I woke up in the hospital, they asked if we 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.'"
After both assaults, Lovato attempted to “take control” of the situation—which was considered “textbook trauma re-enactments.” In the documentary, she says she stayed in touch with her abusers.
Talking about the person who assaulted her when she was a teen, Lovato says, “I called the person back a month later and tried to make it right by being in control. All it did was make me feel worse.”
Lovato says she is coming forward to speak her truth today because she is ready to tell her story.
“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.”