Lady Gaga says she still feels 'worthless' and has urge to self-harm after rape at 19
By MIRROR | 3 months ago
Lady Gaga has revealed that the horrific attack she endured when still in her teens affected her so badly that she had a "total psychotic break".
The Oscar-winning singer and actress, 35, was speaking as part of Prince Harry and Oprah’s new Apple TV+ documentaries on mental health, called The Me You Can’t See.
She is one of several high-profile people interviewed on the series, including actress Glenn Close and Robin Williams’ son, who reveal painful moments from their past which still traumatise them as adults.
Gaga recalled the incident in 2005 when a music producer raped her repeatedly, saying: “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 don't even remember.'
Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, does not reveal her assailant’s name, and says she was eventually “'dropped off pregnant on a street corner”.
She says she will never disclose his identity because he still scares her so much. She went on to reveal that the assault was so devastating that she blacked out, then used to make herself sick or self-harm as a way of blocking out the memory.
Years later the crime still affects her feelings of lack of self-worth.
She continued: 'Even if I have six brilliant months, all it takes is getting triggered once to feel bad. And when I say I feel bad, I mean I want to cut.
She reveals that she also used to self-harm by throwing herself against a wall and also had suicidal thoughts.
"It's a real thing to feel like there is a black cloud that is following you wherever you go, telling you that you are worthless and should die.
"[I used to] think about dying. Wondering if I’m ever going to do it. I learned all the ways to pull myself out of it.'
"You know why it's not good to cut?' she asked. "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.
"You think you're going to feel better because you're showing somebody, 'Look, I'm in pain.' It doesn't help," she continued.
The singer then began to rise to fame but did not seek help or treatment.
“All of a sudden became a star and was traveling the world, going from hotel room to garage to limo to stage, and I never dealt with it, and then all of a sudden I started to experience this incredible intense pain throughout my entire body that mimicked the illness I felt after I was raped.”
Eventually, she went to her doctor and a psychiatrist, who diagnosed her with fibromyalgia - a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body - as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.
"First I felt full-on pain, then I went numb, then I was sick for weeks and weeks.," she says.
"I realised that it was the same pain that I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on the corner, because I was vomiting.
She continued: 'I had a total psychotic break, and for a couple years, I was not the same girl. 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.'
Gaga says she was still receiving treatment when she won her Academy Award for Best Original Song for Shallow, from A Star Is Born, in 2019.
"It all started to slowly change, it took two and a half years to pull myself out of it", she explained.
"In that time I won an Oscar - and nobody knew!” In the past, she has admitted that her career has been a salvation, saying 'my music's been wonderful for me.”
Speaking candidly to Oprah, Gaga says she hopes that others will benefit from hearing her story, and she will feel better for telling it so honestly.
She said bravely: “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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