Singer Demi Lovato has revealed that she was raped as a teenager while working for Disney Channel by someone she ‘had to see all the time’ afterwards.
The explosive admission is part of a larger story about Lovato’s career, her experiences as a child star, her addiction and her recovery in the YouTube docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil. Some details about the documentary have already been leaked including how Lovato suffered three strokes and a heart attack after overdosing in 2018.
In the latest round of revelations, the singer shared that she was raped while she was working for the Disney Channel in the late 2000s, and the person faced no repercussions when she revealed what happened. Lovato did not say who the offender was but she used he/him pronouns while describing the traumatic experience during the documentary.
She also said she “had to see this person all the time” afterwards.
“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.”
Demi Lovato did not reveal when or where the assault happened but said it was when she was “a part of that Disney crowd that publicly said they were waiting till marriage”.
In the late 2000s, several Disney stars – including Nick and Joe Jonas, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez – wore purity rings to symbolise their commitment to wait for sex until marriage. Lovato said she wore a purity ring in 2008 while she was filming the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock. She was 15-years-old at the time.
Lovato described the experience as one that started consensually but quickly turned traumatic. She said: “We were hooking up, but I said, ‘Hey, this is not going any farther, I’m a virgin and I don’t want to lose it this way.’
“And that didn’t matter to them, they did it anyways. And I internalised it, and I told myself it was my fault because I still went in the room with him.
“I still hooked up with him.”
She said the rape and the pressure to maintain a ‘pure’ image contributed to her eating disorder and self-harm at the time. Demi Lovato said she wanted to speak publicly about the incident now because “everyone that that happens to should absolutely speak their voice if they can and feel comfortable doing so”.
“And you know what, f**k it, I’m just going to say it: my #MeToo story is me telling somebody that someone did this to me, and they never got in trouble for it,” Lovato said. “They never got taken out of the movie they were in.”
PinkNews has contacted the Disney Channel for comment.
Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, premiered at SXSW on Tuesday (16 March), is will air on Lovato’s YouTube channel next on 23 March.