Lady Gaga Lives With the Impact of Her Teenage Rape Every Day
At the age of 19, Lady Gaga was sexually assaulted by a music producer.
In September 2017 Lady Gaga revealed on social media that she suffers chronic pain due to fibromyalgia, a common disorder that affects muscle and soft tissue. While the ailment is often misunderstood, Gaga believes her pain stems from the trauma of being raped at age 19 —which she went public with three years ago. Now, the singer/songwriter is sharing more about the incident in an interview with Vogue.
"No one else knew. It was almost like I tried to erase it from my brain," the 32-year-old told Vogue about her assault that happened early in her music career. "And when it finally came out, it was like a big, ugly monster. And you have to face the monster to heal."
Gaga is currently promoting her debut film role in A Star is Born alongside Bradley Cooper, which has already received critical acclaim. In the movie she plays an unknown singer who rises to fame after being discovered by a rock-and-roll star (Cooper). This version —written and directed by Cooper— is the fourth iteration of the iconic film. While promoting the film, Gaga shared how her real-life trauma affects every day life.
"I feel like I’ve been an advocate but also a shocked audience member, watching #MeToo happen," she told Vogue. "I’m still in disbelief. And I’ve never come forward and said who molested me, but I think every person has their own relationship with that kind of trauma."
The trauma she's suffered has not only impacted Gaga physically, but emotionally and professionally. Last September, Gaga cancelled a show in Brazil and postponed the European leg of her tour because of health issues. "She plans to spend the next seven weeks proactively working with her doctors to heal from this and past traumas that still affect her daily life, and result in severe physical pain in her body," Live Nation said in a statement about the postponed tour.
Gaga told Vogue, "For me, with my mental health issues, half of the battle in the beginning was, I felt like I was lying to the world because I was feeling so much pain but nobody knew. So that’s why I came out and said that I have PTSD because I don’t want to hide—any more than I already have to."
While Gaga shared that overcoming anxiety and chronic pain every day "is no joke," she says she will remain vocal about the importance of being empathetic.
"I am not a brand," Gaga told Vogue. "I have my unique existence, just as everyone else does, and at the end of the day, it’s our humanity that connects us—our bodies and our biology. That’s what breeds compassion and empathy, and those are the things that I care the most about. Kindness!"