Lady Gaga has revealed that she was raped at 19 by a music producer who “dropped [her] off pregnant on a corner” following months of abuse.
The pop star and Oscar winner spoke through tears as she recalled her trauma during an appearance on The Me You Can’t See, a new mental-health docuseries starring and co-created by Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey.
In the show’s first episode, Gaga says that she has self-harmed since she was “really young” and that many of her mental health struggles stem from trauma she experienced as an aspiring musician.
“I was 19 years old and I was working in the business and a producer said to me, ‘Take your clothes off’,” Gaga remembers. “I said no, and I left, and they told me they were gonna burn all my music. And they didn’t stop… they didn’t stop asking me and I just froze and I just… I don’t even remember.”
As she broke down in tears, Gaga explained that she will never name the producer in question.
“I understand this #MeToo movement, I understand that some people feel really comfortable with this, and I do not,” she continued. “I do not ever want to face that person again. This system is so abusive, it’s so dangerous.”
Gaga added that, years later, she experienced a “total psychotic break” and was in an “ultra state of paranoia” that led her to cancel numerous dates of a world tour. She then realised it was resurfaced trauma from her sexual abuse.
“I [couldn’t] feel my own body,” she recalled. “First I felt full-on pain, then I felt numb, and then I was sick for weeks after. I realised that it was the same pain that I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on a corner [by] my parent’s house, because I was vomiting and sick. Because I had been being abused, and I was locked away in a studio for months.”
Gaga said that it took her two and a half years to recover, but that it takes just “getting triggered once” for her to slip back into feelings of physical and emotional pain.
Gaga is one of a number of well-known faces to take part in The Me You Can’t See, which The Independent has called “powerful but frustratingly unambitious”.
The show, which also features Winfrey, Prince Harry and Glenn Close, is streaming on Apple TV+ from today (21 May).
If you’ve been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support: www.rapecrisis.org.uk