In a new docuseries, the singer says she was assaulted as a teen and after telling somebody, the rapist ‘never got taken out of the movie they were in’
Demi Lovato has said she was raped as a teenager while working for the Disney Channel in the late 2000s by someone who faced no repercussions when she revealed what happened. The singer does not say who the offender was, only that she “had to see this person all the time” afterwards.
The comments were part of a larger story told by Lovato in her YouTube docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, which premiered at SXSW on Tuesday, about trauma, addiction and her near-fatal drug overdose in July 2018. Lovato, 28, has long been open about her struggles with drug and alcohol addiction and bulimia, including in her 2017 YouTube Originals documentary Simply Complicated.
In several interviews filmed over the course of 2020, Lovato described the eating disorder and control by her then management team in 2018 that contributed to breaking six years of sobriety, and the overdose that landed her in Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles for several weeks. She said she was “left for dead” by her drug dealer after he raped her during the overdose, and that she saw him during a one-time relapse after a stay in a treatment facility in an effort to assert control.
Her return, she said, mirrored the experience she had as a teenager. “I lost my virginity in a rape,” she said. “I called that person back a month later and tried to make it right by being in control, and all it did was just make me feel worse.”
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”.