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In new documentary, Demi Lovato reveals rape, sexual assault

Demi Lovato's documentary "Dancing with the Devil" will

Demi Lovato's documentary "Dancing with the Devil" will premiere on YouTube March 23. Credit: Biden Inaugural Committee via AP

Pop star and actress Demi Lovato, who has faced highly public travails with cocaine and heroin addiction, mental-health issues including an eating disorder, and a drug overdose that nearly killed her, reveals in a new documentary a rape and a sexual assault.

"I lost my virginity in a rape" at age 15, Lovato says in the four-part YouTube Originals "Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil," according to transcript excerpts in USA Today and other outlets following the documentary's premiere this past Tuesday at the online SXSW Film Festival.

She and the unidentified attacker "were hooking up," recalls the 28-year-old former Disney Channel star, in a sequence that includes promotional footage from that channel's TV-movie "Camp Rock" (2008), "but I said, 'Hey, this is not going any farther; I'm a virgin and I don't want to lose it this way.' And that didn't matter to them; they did it anyways. And I internalized it and I told myself it was my fault because I still went in the room with him, I still hooked up with him."

Because of work, Lovato "had to see this person all the time, and so I stopped eating and coped in other ways: cutting, throwing up, whatever. And my bulimia got so bad that I started throwing up blood for the first time." She eventually told adults what happened, to no avail. "My #MeToo story is me telling somebody that someone did this to me, and they never got in trouble for it. They never got taken out of the movie they were in."

She adds, "I called that person back a month later and tried to make it right by being in control and all it did was make me feel worse."

Lovato also reveals she was sexually assaulted by her drug dealer the morning of her July 2018 overdose from what a friend in the documentary calls heroin "laced with fentanyl" or what Lovato says was oxycodone with fentanyl. "I didn't just overdose — I also was taken advantage of," Lovato says, adding that "when they found me, I was naked, I was blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me."

Upon awakening in a hospital, she was "asked if I had had consensual sex," she remembers. "There was one flash that I had of him on top of me. I saw that flash and I said, 'Yes.' It wasn't until a month after my overdose when I realized, 'Hey, you weren't in any state of mind to make a consensual decision.' That kind of trauma doesn't go away overnight."

The documentary premieres Tuesday on YouTube. Lovato's new album, "Dancing with the Devil... The Art of Starting Over," drops April 2.

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