Demi Lovato says her rape was ‘swept under the rug’ after she was assaulted as a teen Disney star

Matilda Davies March 29, 2021
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Demi Lovato's new four-episode docuseries, 'Dancing with the Devil', is being released every Tuesday on her YouTube channel.

Demi Lovato's new four-episode docuseries, 'Dancing with the Devil', is being released every Tuesday on her YouTube channel. (Demi Lovato/YouTube)

Demi Lovato has said that after she was raped as a teenager, the attack was “completely swept under the rug”.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Lovato recalled telling “somebody of power” that she had been raped by a person in the entertainment industry.

“Nothing was done about it,” she said. “That person was still in that movie.”

The rape occured when she was 15-years old and a virgin. Lovato has not named the perpetrator, but said it happened when she was “a part of that Disney crowd that publicly said they were waiting till marriage”. Disney has been contacted for comment.

The Grammy-nominated singer was raised with Christian beliefs, including a belief in abstinence, which she said made her feel “so ashamed” after she was attacked.

“That was what was replaying in my head: ‘You’re not married, you’re not married, you’re not married – you’re bad,'” she told the Times. “I went three years with ‘I’m bad, I’m wrong, I’m dirty’. This is why I went away to treatment, pretty much.”

Lovato opened up about the assault in the first episode of her new documentary series, Dancing with the Devil.

“I lost my virginity to 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.”

She called this decision “trauma re-enactment”, explaining to the Times: “There’s a sense of agency that I guess I felt when I was the one to call them back and kind of correct the situation, in my eyes. Because if I was the one in control, then I was fixing it. Which obviously isn’t the case. Like, what happened still happened. And this is not going to make it any better.”

Demi credits the #MeToo movement in 2018 with helping her recognise her trauma, adding: “I realised, oh my gosh, this happens in the industry all the time.”

Demi Lovato called the pressures of being famous as a child ‘anxiety-inducing’

In the Sunday Times interview, Demi Lovato also spoke about the pressures of being a child star.

She 0pened up about watching Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan struggling in public and worrying: “In three years that’s going to be me.”

She recalled a conversation on a plane with the husband of a celebrity who asked her if she would end up like other troubled child stars. She responded: “If I’m aware of what you’re already thinking about how I’m going to turn out, don’t you think that’s going to make me work twice as hard not to end up like that?

“Well, I did. I worked twice as hard not to end up like that. And I still ended up there.”

Lovato’s documentary sees the star open up about her battle with addiction.

In the first episode she detailed the extent of her drug use, admitting she is “lucky to be alive” after her 2018 overdose.

More: demi lovato, Disney, rape

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