Lady Gaga Opens Up In Emotional and Vulnerable Interview About the Impacts of Her Rape at 19

(Trigger Warning: This article discuss sexual assault, rape, self-harm, and eating disorders.)

Lady Gaga opened up about her rape at 19 and the effects of trauma it caused on Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry’s new docuseries with Apple TV+ called The Me You Can’t See. During the interview, the Chromatica creator told the hosts:

“I was 19 years old, and I was working in the business, and a producer said to me, ‘Take your clothes off.’ 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 just — I don’t even remember,” Lady Gaga recalled.

She then revealed how she couldn’t escape the physical sensations of when she was raped as a teenager.

“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 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.”

Gaga said the experience caused a “psychotic break.” 

“For a couple of years, I was not the same girl,” the singer admitted. “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. I couldn’t feel anything, I disassociated. It’s like your brain goes offline.”

Lady Gaga was very honest around how the depression caused her to self-harm.

She explained, “It’s a really very real thing to feel like there’s a black cloud that is following you wherever you go, telling you that you’re worthless and should die. I used to scream and throw myself against the wall.” 

She also revealed how moving on after such a traumatic event is a lifelong experience, stating that “even if I have six brilliant months, all it takes is getting triggered once to feel bad, and when I say feel bad, I mean, wanna cut, think about dying.”

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However, Lady Gaga was very specific in cautioning viewers against self-harming.

Instead, she gave some sage advice. “You know why it’s not good to self-harm? Because it makes you feel worse,” Gaga said. “You think you’re gonna feel better ’cause you’re showing somebody, ‘Hey, look, I’m in pain.’ It doesn’t help. I always tell people, ‘Tell somebody, don’t show somebody.'”

She also told viewers the importance of finding “one person who validates you.” 

She said that, despite the respect she has for survivors who name their attackers, she is not going to, as she does “not ever want to face that person again.” She also reminds the viewer, “Everybody thinks [healing] is a straight line, that it’s just like every other virus. That you get sick and then you get cured. But it’s not like that, it’s just not like that.”

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