“I actually had anxiety around this interview ... because the last time I did an interview this long, I was on cocaine,” Demi Lovato said, as she pulled her knees up to her chest. “It was called staying strong.”
The admission marked the first of many in Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated, a raw and real look at the music star’s life, where she takes fans through the tumultuous experiences that made her who she is today. From battles with substance abuse and an eating disorder to the end of her six-year relationship with Wilmer Valderrama and the effects of her father leaving her family when she was just a child, the new YouTube documentary covers it all.
Ahead of the project’s L.A. premiere at the Hollywood Roosevelt on Oct. 11, InStyle chatted with Lovato about the doc, the revelations in it, and why she chose to put so much out there now. “I wanted to be open and honest,” she told us. “I’ve done a lot of growing in the past year through breakups, and now I’m like this single, independent woman who is exploring life as a 25-year-old. I get to show that to my fans, and they haven’t seen that side of me yet.”
Lovato said talking about those things on camera was “very difficult,” specifically when she discussed her break-up with the former That '70s Show star. “When you go from being so comfortable with someone else to realizing that you need time to yourself and you need to grow, that you’re not ready for a full commitment, that’s a really hard thing to swallow,” she says. “Going forward like that is something that was super challenging as well.”
It was so challenging that she “relapsed” into bingeing and purging because of it. “It’s something that I still struggle with,” she said. "I’ve learned that with time it gets easier. I know that if I keep fighting, I’ll get to the other side.”
During the documentary, Lovato also detailed the way she was bullied as a child and revealed that there was even a suicide petition circulating around her school that called for her to kill herself. Looking back, the singer said she would tell her younger self “you’re beautiful, and it’s going to be OK.”
She continued, “If I could go back in time I would tell myself ‘you will be accepted for who you are, and who you love, and the things that you’ve been through, people will still love you. Just continue to be honest and open.”
VIDEO: Demi Lovato's Transformation Through the Years
It is a message that Lovato hopes her fans will take away from the doc. “I think it’s really important that my fans learn to love themselves, and that it’s important to find themselves throughout their struggles and their triumphs, and know that it’s going to be OK,” she said. “No matter what they go through, no matter how hard their struggle is, it’s going to be OK.”
Following our interview, Lovato went on to attend the premiere of the film at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood. As fans cheered her name, she walked out in a strapless, structured Elena Reva dress. And among friends like Paris Hilton, Lovato’s mom, Dianna Hart, was set to attend, which Lovato said made her a little nervous.
“I talk about adult topics, and I think having my mom come to the premiere tonight, I just want to be like, cover your ears,” she told us with a laugh. “I’m talking about my sex life. I just want to be like, don’t listen.”
Watch Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated on YouTube in the video at top.