"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.'"

Olivia Harvey
Mar 17, 2021 @ 2:00 pm
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Demi Lovato
Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic, Getty Images

Warning: This article contains topics of sexual assault, drug use, and rape.

Demi Lovato's documentary Dancing With the Devil premiered Tuesday, March 16th, at the SXSW Film Festival. Lovato's goal for the documentary was to finally reveal what went down in the weeks, days, and hours before her nearly fatal 2018 overdose and explain the reasons she came into her addiction—with one of those reasons being her experiences with sexual assault.

In recounting what happened the night she almost lost her life in July 2018, Lovato said, per People, "I didn't just overdose. I was taken advantage of."

"When they found me, I was naked, blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me," the singer said in the doc. "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.'"

Sadly, this wasn't the first time Lovato found herself in a situation of sexual assault. "When I was a teenager...I lost my virginity in a rape," she continued, noting that she had been "hooking up" with her attacker, though she had communicated that she wasn't ready to lose her virginity.

"I was part of that Disney crowd that publicly said they were waiting until marriage," Lovato said. "I didn't have the romantic first time. 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."

Even though she told the adults in her life about the situation, the person responsible was never punished. "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," Lovato said.

Though she tried to gain back control by calling her assailants and trying to come to some sort of understanding, Lovato ultimately did herself more damage than good. "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 explained.

Dancing With the Devil will premiere on YouTube on March 23rd.