The singer said she was very high when she was assaulted by her drug dealer and she felt taken advantage of.
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of sexual assault and drug abuse that some readers may find disturbing
Singer Demi Lovato has revealed that she was sexually assaulted when she was just 15 and is still fighting the trauma of having been violated. Lovato made the revelation in the upcoming docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. Lovato also said she was assaulted by her drug dealer on the night she overdosed. She went on to suffer three strokes and a heart attack while recovering from the near-fatal drug overdose at the hospital. "I didn't just overdose. I was taken advantage of," says Lovato in the docuseries while discussing the night of the drug overdose, reported People.
"When they found me, I was naked, blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me," says the 28-year-old. "When I woke up in the hospital, they asked if we had had consensual s*x. 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.'" Sirah Mitchell, a friend of Lovato's, said that the drug dealer gave her heroin "laced with fentanyl." He got her really high before leaving her to die, said Mitchell.
Lovato drew parallels with the time she was assaulted when she was just 15. "When I was a teenager, I was in a very similar situation. I lost my virginity in a rape," says Lovato in the docuseries. She acknowledges that she had been "hooking up" with the alleged attacker at the time, but she wasn't "ready" to have intercourse for the first time. "I was part of that Disney crowd that publicly said they were waiting until marriage. I didn't have the romantic first time," says Lovato in the series. "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."
The singer said she had managed to gather the courage to tell adults about what happened to her but nothing was done about it. Her alleged attacker "never got in trouble for it," says Lovato. "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. Here's the tea."
She tried to confront her abusers to take control of the incident but it only compounded her trauma. "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," says Lovato about her teen assault. "Both times were textbook trauma re-enactments, and I really beat myself up for years which is why I had a really hard time coming to terms with the fact it was a rape when it happened," she said.
Lovato is keen to use all her experiences to make music. "As long as I continue to tell my truth, I'm going to make music that resonates with people," said Lovato, according to People. "And that's my purpose. I'm an artist that cares a lot about her community — and my community is the entire planet — so I just I'm always striving to help. I think that my work is going to only benefit now that I've learned so much about myself." The documentary's first episode premieres on YouTube on March 23.
If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to reach a certified crisis counselor.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
Cover image credit: Getty Images | Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)