- Lady Gaga shared new details about her past sexual assault in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
- Oprah featured the singer during her 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour with WW.
- Gaga revealed she developed PTSD as a result of being “raped repeatedly” at age 19, and “I was afraid I was gonna die.”
Oprah Winfrey is on her 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour with WW, and she kicked it off with an incredibly emotional interview with Lady Gaga.
During the interview, Gaga covered a slew of different topics, including how she was sexually assaulted in her teens.
“I was raped repeatedly when I was 19 years old. I also developed PTSD as a result of being raped and not processing that trauma,” Gaga told Oprah. The singer said she didn’t have anyone who could help her at the time. “I did not have a therapist, I did not have a psychiatrist, I did not have a doctor help me through it,” she explained.
Gaga also said she’s decided not to publicly reveal the name of the person who raped her. “Through the #MeToo movement I have made the personal choice not to say who it is because I choose to not relive it,” she said. “That’s my personal choice. I hope that the world respects that.”
But Gaga continued, as she became famous, her body eventually felt “intense pain” that mimicked the “illness” of being raped. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread pain along with fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues, but Gaga said she suffered for years without knowing why. “I just didn’t stop moving and working and dancing through insurmountable pain … It was so frustrating … I was improperly medicated and I wasn’t in therapy,” she said.
“I was afraid I was gonna die,” Gaga said. “I would say I lived that way for about five years. And I’d rather face that, those five years, because they made me who I am,” she said.
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Eventually, Gaga said she had a “psychotic break.” “I was triggered, really badly, in a court deposition. This part of the brain where you stay centered and you don’t disassociate, right? It slammed down. My whole body started tingling and I started screaming. I was in a hospital. It’s very difficult to describe what it feels like other than that you first start to tingle from head to toe and then you go numb,” she said. “The brain goes, ‘That’s enough, I don’t want to think about this anymore. I don’t want to feel this anymore.’ Boom. You break from reality as you know it. You have no concept of what’s going on around you. There is nothing wrong, but you are in a traumatic state. I remember going into the hospital and screaming, ‘Why is no one else panicking?”
After she went to the hospital, Gaga said she received good medical care. “[My psychiatrist] assembled a team for me and I went away to a place that I go to sometimes still for a reboot. They took care of me. They saved my life. And I’m very thankful,” she said, noting that she has an “unorthodox set of pills” that she takes. “I know this is controversial in a lot of ways, but medicine really helped me.”
Gaga also said that she later realized she wanted to tell her fans about her psychotic break. “I can’t live a lie, I’m an authentic person, and here I am, I’m perfectly imperfect and we all are,” she said. “We all have our things that we go through. I felt like, ‘Why shouldn’t I share this when I share all of myself with the world all the time?’ And I could maybe help people that have had psychotic breaks.”
Now, Gaga said she wants to help others as a result of her experiences. “This happened for a reason. All the things I’ve been through. I was supposed to go through this. Even the rape—all of it. I radically accepted they happened because God was saying to me, ‘I’m gonna show you pain. And then you’re going to help other people who are in pain because you’re going to understand it,” she said. “Now, when I see someone in pain I can’t look away. I’m in pain too. Now, I’m in problem-solving mode. I’ve got my suit on and my heels and I’m ready to go.”
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