Lady Gaga opens up about suffering a 'psychotic break' after being raped by a producer
The singer is sharing her story in the hopes of helping others.
Lady Gaga is opening up about the pain she endured after being sexually assaulted at 19, and her eventual journey to recovery in the hopes of helping others.
The music superstar appeared in the premiere episode of Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry's new AppleTV+ series, The Me You Can't See, and bravely addressed the trauma she suffered as an aspiring young singer, as well as the work she put in to tackle her mental health struggles.
"I went through a really crazy time in my head that I still work on," Gaga says in the "Say It Out Loud" episode, where her story is billed as "Stefani," her birth name. "And, I'm trying to make sure that I give back with that experience instead of just -- I don't know, locking it away, and faking it."
Gaga addressed being sexually assaulted at just 19, when she says a producer told her to undress. Although she refused, she maintains they threatened to burn all of the music she'd recorded.
"And they didn't stop – they didn't stop asking me and then I just froze. I just, I don't – I don't even remember," she added, wiping away tears.
Although Gaga previously opened up about being raped, and has been a vocal supporter of the Time's Up and Me Too movements, she said in the AppleTV+ segment she would not name her attacker.
"I will not say his name. I understand this 'Me Too' movement, I understand that some people felt really comfortable with this, and I do not," Gaga said. "I do not ever want to face that person again."
The singer, who co-wrote (with Diane Warren) the emotional song, "Til It Happens to You" for The Hunting Ground, a documentary on campus rape, and later performed it at the 2016 Oscars with other assault survivors, discussed the lasting pain – physical and emotional – she was left with following her assault.
"Years later, I went to the hospital – they brought a psychiatrist in. I said, 'Bring me a real doctor.' I said, 'Why is there a psych here? I can't feel my body,'" she recounted, revealing she "went numb."
Gaga said she was sick for several weeks. "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, [by] my parent's house. 'Cause I was vomiting and sick. 'Cause I'd been being abused. I was locked away in a studio for months," she said, wiping away tears.
The singer and actress explained that it was important to her to share her own painful story – that included turning to self-harm – to let others know there is a path forward.
"And you can come back from things like that. But when it hits you really hard, it can… change you. 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. Right? They can't, they don't find [anything], but your body remembers."
Gaga encouraged others to seek out someone to talk to rather than engage in harming behaviors.
"I always tell people, tell somebody, don't show somebody," she said.
She admitted to still getting "triggered," but she's now learned ways to address the pain. It took two and a half years, Gaga said. A producer for the AppleTV+ show who interviewed Gaga asked her what she did in that time, and the "Born this Way" singer revealed it happened while she took home an Academy Award for Best Original Song for A Star Is Born.
"I won an Oscar," she replied to the producer. "Nobody knew."
The full season of The Me You Can't See is available now to stream on AppleTV+.
If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.