Demi Lovato said she was raped as a teenager, before suffering the same ordeal in the morning from a near-fatal drug overdose in 2018.
Lovato made dire claims in her latest YouTube documentary series Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, which premiered on SXSW on Tuesday (March 16) and focuses on her ongoing battles with drug and alcohol addiction and bulimia.
The singer explained that the initial attacks occurred when she was only 15 years old and working for the Disney Channel, with her attackers not facing any repercussions for their actions.
“I lost my virginity in a rape,” Lovato said.
“I called that person back a month later and tried to make it right by being in control and all it did was make me feel worse.”
Discussing a 2018 overdose that landed her in Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai medical center for several weeks, Demi Lovato said she too had been “left for dead” by a drug dealer who raped her.
She went to see the attacker during the subsequent relapse that landed her in the hospital once again and explains that it reflects her teenage experiences.
Lovato said both times were “textbook trauma re-enactments, and 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.”
While the singer did not reveal when or where the initial attacks took place, she noted it happened when she was “a part of that Disney crowd that publicly said they were waiting till marriage,” referring to the purity rings worn in the late 2000s by Disney stars. teens including Nick and Joe Jonas, Miley Cyrus, and Selena Gomez.
“I didn’t have the romantic first time,” she said.
“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.”
She said she told others about her ordeal, but her abuser “never got in trouble for it”.
“They never got taken out of the movie they were in. I always kept it quiet because I’ve always had something to say. I don’t know, I’m tired of opening my mouth,” she said.
“I called that person back a month later and tried to make it right by being in control. All it did was make me feel worse.”
Lovato added that she struggled to recognise the experience as rape at the time, which led to her earliest battles with bulimia and self-harm.
“The Christian, southern girl in me didn’t see it that way because sex was not normalized as a child or in the south,” she said.
“And, you know what, fuck it, I’m just gonna say it: my #MeToo 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.”