The Way Demi Lovato Tried To “Rewrite” Her Sexual Assault & Overdose Made Her Feel Worse

“It actually wasn’t until maybe a month after my overdose that I realized…”

by Savannah Walsh
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 26: Demi Lovato attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES C...
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In the years since her near-fatal 2018 overdose, Demi Lovato has been charting a new path that includes releasing music, starring in an NBC comedy, and gaining insight into her sexuality. For her upcoming YouTube documentary, Dancing With The Devil, Lovato is got candid about surviving an overdose and sexual assault on the same night in July 2018. “I didn’t just overdose. I also was taken advantage of,” Lovato said in the doc, identifying her drug dealer as the person who sexually assaulted her.

“When they found me, I was naked, I was blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me. And when I woke up in the hospital, they asked if I had consensual sex,” Lovato recalled, as reported by Us Weekly. “There was one flash that I had of him on top of me. I saw that flash, and I said yes. It actually wasn’t until maybe a month after my overdose that I realized, ‘Hey, you weren’t in any state of mind to make a consensual decision.’”

The Grammy nominee went on to speak about how the pain of the sexual assault led her back to using drugs. Lovato remembered calling her abuser after completing “a weeklong intensive trauma retreat,” intent on seeing him again. “I wanted to rewrite his choice of violating me,” she said. “I wanted it to now be my choice. I called him back and said, ‘No, I’m gonna f*ck you.’ It didn’t fix anything. It didn’t take anything away. It made me feel worse.” The 28-year-old added, “That, for some reason, was my way of taking the power back. All it did was bring me back to my knees, begging God for help.”

Lovato then confirmed that she used again after that experience. “I wish I could say the last night that I ever touched heroin was the night of my overdose, but it wasn’t,” she disclosed in Dancing With The Devil. “I ended up getting high. I thought, ‘How did I pick up the same drugs that put me in the hospital?’ I was, like, mortified at my decisions.”

In the first trailer for the documentary, Lovato also shared that she suffered three strokes and a heart attack during her 2018 overdose. According to the singer, Dancing With the Devil is a chance to open up about her substance abuse disorder and road to recovery. “It’s been two years since I came face-to-face with the darkest point in my life, and now I’m ready to share my story with the world,” Lovato said in a statement. “For the first time, you’ll be able to see my chronicle of struggle and ongoing healing from my point of view. I’m grateful that I was able to take this journey to face my past head-on and finally share it with the world.”

Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil premieres on YouTube Tuesday, March 23.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org. If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance use, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357).