Lady Gaga Has Privilege & Power and Feels “A Lot of Shame”
Lady Gaga is getting candid about being a survivor of sexual assault.
The 35-year-old pop star guests on the premiere episode of Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry‘s new Apple TV+ unscripted series, The Me You Can’t See, which launches Friday, May 21 and features conversations about mental health. During her segment, Lady Gaga shared details from a time when she found out she was pregnant following nonconsensual sex.
“I was 19 years old, and I was working in the business, and a producer said to me, ‘Take your clothes off,'” the Oscar winner recalled. “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.” This caused the performer to break down in tears.
Lady Gaga, who explained she has decided not to name the producer because she never wants to face him again, went on to share that the industry is abusive and dangerous. She described a time years later when she went to a hospital for pain and numbness, and she was surprised when the hospital sent a psychiatrist to see her, rather than a medical doctor.
“First I felt full-on pain, then I went numb,” the “Poker Face” vocalist shared. “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.”
She explained that she felt changed by the pain she had endured, which led to a “psychotic break” that was still going on when she accepted the Oscar for A Star Is Born in 2019.
“I had a total psychotic break, and for a couple years, I was not the same girl,” she 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.”
Lady Gaga went on to say she has more recently dealt with impulses toward self-harm. “You know why it’s not good to cut? You know why it’s not good to throw yourself against the wall? You know why it’s not good to self-harm? Because it makes you feel worse,” she added. “You think you’re going to feel better because you’re showing somebody, ‘Look, I’m in pain.’ It doesn’t help.”
The star concluded on a hopeful note, explaining that after several years, she “learned all the ways to pull myself out of it. It all started to slowly change.”
The Me You Can’t See premieres Friday, May 21 on Apple TV+.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).