This article contains mentions of sexual assault, self-harm and rape and could be triggering to some.
Appearing on Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey’s AppleTV+ documentary series, The Me You Can’t See, Lady Gaga got candid on her personal experiences with mental health and self-harm. The entertainer revealed that following her rape, which she first shared in 2016, she found out she was pregnant.
“I was 19 years old, and I was working in the business, and a producer said to me, ‘Take your clothes off,'” the Oscar winner told Winfrey. “And I said no. And I left, and they told me they were going to burn all of my music. And they didn’t stop. They didn’t stop asking me, and I just froze and I—I don’t even remember.”
Gaga goes on to say that even now she continues to struggle with her mental health and PTSD, and can often be triggered by things that remind her of what she went through. Reflecting years following the sexual assault, Gaga went to a hospital to be treated for pain and was surprised when the hospital’s team sent a psychiatrist to treat her rather than a medical doctor.
“First I felt full-on pain, then I went numb,” she continued. “And then I was sick for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks after, and I realised that it was the same pain that I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on a corner. At my parents’ house because I was vomiting and sick. Because I’d been being abused. I was locked away in a studio for months.”
The A Star Is Born actress also reflected on her past experiences with self-harm, explaining she believed it was the only way she was able to show how 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,” she says. “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. I do believe that those urges, for me, came from a place of I need to show the hurt inside.”
“You know why it’s not good to cut? You know why it’s not good to throw yourself against the wall? You know why it’s not good to self-harm? Because it makes you feel worse,” she continued. “You think you’re going to feel better because you’re showing somebody, ‘Look, I’m in pain.’ It doesn’t help.”
Gaga finished on a positive note, explained she “learned all the ways to pull myself out of it. It all started to slowly change.”
The Me You Can’t See premieres May 21 on Apple TV+.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline for 24/7 support on 13 11 14 or visit the website at lifeline.org.au. If it’s an emergency, call 000.