In her moving new YouTube documentary, the singer bravely opens up about healing from the trauma of past sexual abuse
Demi Lovato is not leaving anything unsaid.
In her docuseries, Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil — which premiered Tuesday at the SXSW Film Festival — the songstress reveals that she was sexually assaulted by her drug dealer the night of her overdose.
“I didn’t just overdose. I was taken advantage of,” the 28-year-old says in the film about the July 2018 night during which she has said she almost died.
A friend of Lovato’s, Sirah Mitchell, explained Lovato had been given heroin “laced with fentanyl” that night. “He also ended up getting her really high and leaving her for dead,” Mitchell says about the dealer in the documentary.
“When they found me, I was naked, blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me,” Lovato says. “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.'”
In the series, Lovato is emotional as she recounts dealing with the trauma that she faced not only from the night of her overdose but with a previous sexual assault.
“When I was a teenager, I was in a very similar situation. I lost my virginity in a rape,” she says in the film.
While acknowledging that she and her alleged attacker had been “hooking up” at the time, Lovato says she had made clear she hadn’t been “ready” to lose her virginity.
“I was part of that Disney crowd that publicly said they were waiting until marriage. I didn’t have the romantic first time,” Lovato says. “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.”
Lovato then says “f— it, I’m gonna say it,” and reveals she shared what had happened to her to adults. However, her alleged attacker “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. Here’s the tea,” she says.
After her two sexual assault experiences, Lovato attempted to “take control” by getting in contact with her abusers to do it “her way.”
“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,” she says 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 elsewhere.
Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil premieres on YouTube on March 23.