Lady Gaga opened up about her traumatizing rape at 19, and the PTSD and illness that followed, on Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey's Apple TV+ docuseries, "The Me You Can't See," released Thursday.
Lady Gaga, 35, recounted how she was working in the music industry at 19 when a music producer told her, “Take off your clothes.” After Lady Gaga refused and left, they told her they “were going to burn all of [her] music.”
Lady Gaga said, “And they didn’t stop. They didn’t stop asking me, and I just froze and I—I don’t even remember."
She added that she was “locked away in a studio for months,” until “the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on a corner by my parents' house because I was vomiting and sick 'cause I'd been being abused." [sic] She doesn’t say what happened to her baby.
Lady Gaga will not identify her rapist, saying, “I will not say his name. I understand this Me Too movement, and I understand people feel real comfortable with this, and I do not. I do not ever want to face that person again.”
I will not say his name. I do not ever want to face that person again.
The singer didn’t tell anyone about the incident for years because she was afraid she would be "defined by it."
She said, "I'll be damned if somebody's going to say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one d---head that did that to me. I'm going to take responsibility for all my pain looking beautiful. I did that."
But years later, her traumatizing experience resurfaced when she experienced intense pain and lingering illness.
Lady Gaga said, “First I felt full-on pain, then I went numb. 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.”
I realized that it was the same pain that I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on a corner.
"The way that I feel when I feel pain is how I felt after I was raped," she added. "I've had so many MRIs and scans. They don't find nothing, but your body remembers. I couldn't feel anything. I disassociated. It's like your brain goes offline. You don't know why no one else is panicking, but you are in an ultra state of paranoia."
Lady Gaga was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia, a condition that causes pain all over the body. Her recovery — physical and mental — has been slow, but she has learned healthy coping mechanisms, like therapy, playing music, and taking care of her body.
Even still, she has her peaks and valleys, even descending so far as to consider self-harm.
“Even if I have six brilliant months, all it takes is getting triggered once to feel bad,” Lady Gaga said. “And when I say I feel bad, I mean I want to cut. Think about dying. Wondering if I’m ever going to do it. I learned all the ways to pull myself out of it.”
How do I explain to people that I have privilege, I’ve got money, I’ve got power, and I’m miserable?
“What’s so interesting is the line I walk, feeling like I wanna cut myself and feeling like I don’t, are actually real close together,” said Lady Gaga. “Everybody thinks it’s gotta be a straight line, that it’s like every other virus, that you get sick and then you get cured. It’s not like that. It’s just not like that. And actually, I think that traps people.”
“I don’t tell this story for my own self-service, because, to be honest, it’s hard to tell,” she explained. “I feel a lot of shame about it. How do I explain to people that I have privilege, I’ve got money, I’ve got power, and I’m miserable? How do you do that? I’m not here to tell my story to you because I want anybody to cry for me. I’m good. But open your heart up for somebody else. Because I’m telling you, I’ve been through it and people need help. So, that’s part of my healing, being able to talk to you.”
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