In the first two episodes of the new YouTube documentary series Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, the singer — along with help from friends, family, and professionals — discussed the events surrounding her 2018 overdose. In the emotional series, which premiered on March 23, Lovato detailed the night, including how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by her drug dealer as she was unable to give consent. Not only did she share how she tried to reclaim her power after that night, but she also reveals how she suffered a heart attack, three strokes, and was minutes from death. Fortunately, her assistant, Jordan Jackson, found Lovato and called for help. With the assistance of Jackson and the intervention of doctors, Lovato made it through the distressing incident. Still, she continues to feel the effects of the overdose and health complications and can no longer drive because she has blind spots in her vision. The series infuses Lovato’s heartbreaking story with a note of hope as the singer herself says, “It wasn’t my time.”
As the series kicked off, Lovato tweeted at Michael D. Ratner, who directed the doc and supported her as she watched it. She wrote, “I’ll never be able to thank you enough for helping me share my story in the most honest, transparent, tasteful way possible. I can’t wait for everything else we are working on together I love you dearly my brother. THANK YOU.” Following the premiere for the docuseries, which will continue to roll out in the following weeks, Lovato’s fans took to Twitter with their reactions and messages of support. Many expressed how grateful they were that she is still alive and sharing her light with the world, while others shared how hearing her story is already helping them.
Others took note of one scene in which Lovato described how not recognizing her sister Madison De La Garza prompted her to get sober the first time.
Viewers also praised Jackson, who recounted the time she found Lovato post-overdose and called 911.
For much of the documentary so far, Lovato’s family talked about their reaction to her being in the hospital. Her mom, Dianna De La Garza, compared the experience to a horror movie, describing a “tube in her neck” that was sewn into Lovato to filter her blood. Some fans online theorized that this could be a hidden meaning for the butterfly tattoo on her neck.
Despite the gravity of Lovato’s story, Dancing with the Devil Diaries — smaller snippets available to YouTube Premium users — offered some moments of levity, like the time Lovato held a funeral for Taco Bell’s discontinued Mexican Pizza. (She recently told The New York Times that the menu item was important to her, as it helped her find “freedom in my eating disorder”).
The remaining two episodes of Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil will drop on March 30 and April 6.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance use, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). 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 hotline.rainn.org. If you or someone you know has an eating disorder and needs help, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline at 1-800-931-2237, text 741741, or chat online with a Helpline volunteer here.