Lady Gaga Recalled the Trauma She Endured After Her Rapist “Dropped Me Off Pregnant”
During her appearance on Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey's new Apple TV+ documentary series, The Me You Can't See, Lady Gaga reflected on her struggles with mental health and self-harm. Gaga also revealed that some point following her rape — which she previously revealed happened repeatedly at age 19 — she was pregnant. Even now, she recalls, she continues to struggle with mental health and is still triggered by things that remind her of what she went through.
Gaga noted that she believed that mental health was just something that she'd have to consider when she was young, only to realize now that it's an ongoing process. She shared stories of her engaging in self-harm and explained that she believed it was one way she was showing the hurt she was feeling inside.
"My mental health, I thought, was a problem when I was very young. I used to cut myself when I was very young. I had my own experiences with abuse and it's really hard for me to articulate in a way where I feel like it's safe for young people to listen or even older people to listen about why anyone would cut," she said. "I do believe that those urges, for me, came from a place of I need to show the hurt inside."
She also recalled her rape, noting that she would not name her abuser. She mentioned the #MeToo movement and applauded the individuals who have come forward, but she decided that she would never mention her abuser or face him again.
"I was 19 years old and I was working in the business and a producer said to me 'take your clothes off,' and I said 'no' and I left and they told me they were going to burn all my music," she said. "And they didn't stop asking me and I just froze and I ... I don't even remember. And I will not say his name. I understand this #MeToo movement and I understand a lot of people feel really comfortable with this. I do not ever want to face this person again."
She continued the story, saying that she didn't understand that processing what happened would involve both mental and physical work.
"Years later I went to the hospital, they brought a psychiatrist in and I said, 'Bring me a real doctor.' I said, 'Why is there a psych here, I can't feel my body.' I felt full-on pain, then I went numb," she said. "And then, I was sick for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks after and I realized that it was the same pain I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on the corner [outside] my parents' house, because I was vomiting, and sick. 'Cause I'd been being abused. I was locked away in a studio for months."
Gaga continued to recount her healing process, saying that she continued to live in an "ultra state of paranoia" and felt like there was a "black cloud" hanging over her.
"I had a total psychotic break and for a couple years I was not the same girl. The way that I feel when I feel pain is how I felt after I was raped. I've had so many MRIs and scans, they don't find nothing, but your body remembers. I couldn't feel anything. I dissociated. It's like your brain goes offline and you don't know why no one else is panicking but you're in an ultra state of paranoia," she said. "It's a really very real thing to feel like there's a black cloud that is following you wherever you go, telling you that you're worthless and should die, and I used to scream and throw myself against the wall. And you know why it's not good to cut? You know why it's not good to self-harm? 'Cause it makes you feel worse."
After more than two years, she said, things were finally changing, though fans wouldn't know. Not only was this the first time she shared these stories, she revealed that all of this work was being done while she was working — and having some of her wildest dreams come true.
When a producer asked what she'd been doing during her realization and healing, she said, "I won an Oscar."
The Me You Can't See premieres Friday, May 21, on Apple TV+. In addition to Gaga, Glenn Close, the NBA's DeMar DeRozan and Langston Galloway, and Olympic Boxer Virginia "Ginny" Fuchs are set to appear on the show.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text Crisis Text Line at 741-741.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please chat online or call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).