Selena Gomez says she endured emotional abuse under pop star Justin Bieber, with whom the singer-actress had a high-profile, on-again/off-again relationship through the early to mid-2010s.
Referring to her recently released single, "Lose You to Love Me" from her album "Rare," Gomez told NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday” that the song was a response to a relationship ending. "I felt I didn't get a respectful closure, and I had accepted that, but I know I needed some way to just say a few things that I wish I had said," the 27-year-old Gomez stated, according to an NPR transcript of the radio show.
"It's not a hateful song," she added, calling the relationship "something beautiful" that nonetheless "was very difficult and I'm happy it's over. And I felt like this was a great way to just say, you know, it's done, and I understand that, and I respect that, and now here I am stepping into a whole other chapter."
Host Lulu Garcia-Navarro said she assumed Gomez was speaking about Bieber, to which Gomez replied, "You had to get the name in, I get it."
Gomez — who suffers from lupus and whose travails in the four years since her previous album have included a kidney transplant and a widely reported emotional breakdown — said the split was not one of the harder things she has faced. "No, because I've found the strength in it," she told the host. "It's dangerous to stay in a victim mentality. And I'm not being disrespectful, I do feel I was a victim to certain abuse. …"
"You mean emotional abuse?" Garcia-Navarro asked.
"Yes," confirmed Gomez, "and I think that it's something that — I had to find a way to understand it as an adult. And I had to understand the choices I was making. As much as I definitely don't want to spend the rest of my life talking about this, I am really proud that I can say I feel the strongest I've ever felt and I've found a way to just walk through it with as much grace as possible."
Neither a management representative for Bieber nor his record-company representative responded to a Newsday request for comment. Gomez has made no additional public statements on the issue.