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In a new and revealing docuseries, pop star Demi Lovato has opened up about traumatizing experiences from her recent past, including an alleged incident of sexual assault and the events that took place before the 2018 overdose that nearly killed her.
Lovato’s new four-part docuseries, “Dancing with the Devil,” premiered at the South by Southwest film festival on Tuesday night and will be available to stream on YouTube starting March 23, USA TODAY reports. In the series, the 28-year-old singer opens up about some of the most private parts of her life, detailing the sexual trauma she endured as a teen as well as her devastating 2018 overdose — which, as she said for the first time, came after she was raped by her drug dealer.
Lovato said that on the night before she overdosed — July 23, 2018 — she went out with friends to a number of bars before going back home and meeting up with a drug dealer, who supplied her with oxytocin, which may have been laced with fentanyl. It was only after she overdosed and was recovering in the hospital that she realized that she would have been unable to consent to sex that night; despite that, her drug dealer had taken advantage of her sexually before leaving, she said.
“When they found me, I was naked, I was blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me,” Lovato said.
"When I woke up in the hospital, they asked if I had had consensual sex," she continued. "There was one flash that I had of him on top of me. I saw that flash and I said, 'Yes.' It wasn't until a month after my overdose when I realized, 'Hey, you weren't in any state of mind to make a consensual decision.' That kind of trauma doesn't go away overnight."
Lovato’s overdose made headlines. On the morning of July 24, 2018, first responders responded to her house in the Hollywood Hills, where they administered naloxone in an attempt to treat the overdose, NBC News reported. Following her overdose, Lovato experienced some complications but was discharged from medical care the following month and entered a rehab facility, according to a CNN report.
Thinking back to the night of her overdose, Lovato said that she was “literally discarded and abandoned” by her dealer, according to USA TODAY.
Lovato went on to admit that after her overdose, she did relapse with heroin, Page Six reported. She also struggled with the effects of the sexual assault; later, in an attempt to take “the power back” from her dealer and alleged rapist, she called him and told him that she was going to have sex with him, a decision she later regretted.
That was not Lovato’s only experience with sexual assault, she also revealed. The singer also said that her first sexual experience was rape, an incident she said happened was she was a teenager. This was with someone who made her go farther than she wanted to when she’d never had sex before, she said.
"I lost my virginity in a rape," she said, according to USA TODAY. "We were hooking up, but I said, 'Hey, this is not going any farther, I'm a virgin and I don't want to lose it this way.' And that didn't matter to them, they did it anyways. And I internalized it and I told myself it was my fault because I still went in the room with him, I still hooked up with him.”
Lovato went on to say that, following the rape, she had to see her rapist regularly, which she believes contributed to her eating disorder and self-harm. She did tell someone what had happened, she said, but her alleged rapist was never reprimanded and “never got taken out of the movie they were in,” she said.
Lovato abstains from hard drugs but does indulge in alcohol and marijuana in moderation, she revealed during the final episode of the docuseries, according to USA TODAY.
Alongside the docuseries, Lovato will also be releasing a new album, “Dancing With The Devil: The Art Of Starting Over,” which is scheduled to drop on April 2.
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