Lady Gaga has opened up in a new interview about the sexual assault she suffered at the hands of an unnamed music producer early in her career.
(Trigger warning for anyone who may become upset from details or descriptions of sexual assault and rape.)
During the emotional sit-down — which comes from the first episode of Oprah and Prince Harry’s new Apple TV+ docuseries The Me You Can’t See — the pop star discussed how the rape left her with lasting emotional scars. “I was 19 years old, and I was working in the business, and a producer said to me, ‘Take your clothes off,’ Gaga recalled through tears. “And I said, ‘No.” And I left, and they told me they were going to burn all of my music. And they didn’t stop. They didn’t stop asking me, and I just froze and I — I don’t even remember.”
The singer kept the experience secret for seven years as her career skyrocketed, until finally deciding to speak out about the abuse back in 2014. However, she stated in the docuseries that she has no intention of naming her abuser due to the trauma he inflicted on her life. “I will not say his name,” she said. “I understand this #MeToo movement; I understand that some people feel really comfortable with this, and I do not. I do not ever want to face that person again.”
According to Gaga, PTSD from the assault resurfaced during a recent hospital visit with a psychiatrist, ultimately leading her to cancel a number of concerts. “First I felt full-on pain, then I went numb,” she said. “And then I was sick for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks after, and I realized that it was the same pain that I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on a corner. At my parents’ house because I was vomiting and sick. Because I’d been being abused. I was locked away in a studio for months.”
The superstar also revealed that in the midst of her triumphant press tour for 2019’s A Star Is Born, which earned her an Oscar for Best Original Song and a nomination for Best Actress, she was actually suffering through what she described as “a total psychotic break.” “For a couple years, I was not the same girl,” Gaga said. “The way that I feel when I feel pain was how I felt after I was raped. I’ve had so many MRIs and scans where they don’t find nothing. But your body remembers.”
However, the Oscar winner said that, while her road to recovery has been long and arduous, she ultimately finds a measure of peace in sharing her story. “Open your heart up for somebody else, because I’m telling you, I’ve been through it and people need help,” she concluded. “That’s part of my healing, is being able to talk to you.”
Watch Lady Gaga discuss her traumatic sexual assault below (via The Independent). The Me You Can’t See is out now on Apple TV+, and you can see the trailer ahead.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, you can contact the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network via RAINN.org or by calling 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673).