How Demi Lovato Tried to ‘Fix’ Her 2018 Sexual Assault: ‘I Was Literally Left for Dead’

Singer Demi Lovato promised fans her seventh album would reveal all about her 2018 overdose. What she didn’t say was how much more the accompanying docuseries would share. In addition to the drugs she took and the health issues it caused, the artist used Dancing with the Devil to tell the story of how her dealer sexually assaulted her that night.

Demi Lovato overdosed in 2018

Follow a trip to rehab in 2010, Lovato shared much of her sobriety journey with her fans. For years, she spoke openly about the ups and downs of battling addiction, including admitting when she relapsed. In 2018, Lovato released “Sober,” in which she sang about using again.

But it turns out it was much worse than that. In July 2018, the artist made headlines when she was taken to the hospital following an overdose. She went to rehab once more and largely stayed out of the spotlight until embarking on her musical comeback in early 2020.

She opened up about the experience in her docuseries

RELATED: How Did Demi Lovato’s Parents React to Her 2018 Overdose?

Though reports at the time detailed a mixture of drugs in Lovato’s system, no one in the public knew the whole story — until now. In the vein of her 2017 documentary Simply Complicated, the singer recorded a new docuseries, Dancing with the Devil, which premieres on YouTube on March 23, 2021.

In the trailer, Lovato explains, “I had three strokes. I had a heart attack. My doctors said that I had five to 10 more minutes [to live].” Her family and friends described their experiences in the aftermath. “We were watching all of her blood come out of her body into a machine,” said her mom, Dianna De La Garza.

Lovato says her dealer ‘took advantage of me

Lovato admitted to trying numerous drugs during this time, including combinations of opioids like heroin and fentanyl. And she revealed in the doc (via Us Weekly) that the dealer who brought her the drugs that night took advantage of her. “When they found me, I was naked, I was blue. I was literally left for dead,” she explained.

“When I woke up in the hospital, they asked if I had consensual sex,” Lovato continued. “There was one flash that I had of him on top of me. I saw that flash, and I said yes. It actually wasn’t until maybe a month after my overdose that I realized, ‘Hey, you weren’t in any state of mind to make a consensual decision.’”

How she tried to ‘fix’ the situation

Demi Lovato at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards 2018 on May 20, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Demi Lovato at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards 2018 on May 20, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Lisa O’Connor/AFP via Getty Images

After getting out of the hospital and beginning her recovery, Lovato saw her dealer again, making the decision to use again and change her story. “I wanted to rewrite his choice of violating me, ” she said. She continued, “I wanted it now to be my choice. I called him back and said, ‘No, I’m going to f*ck you.'”

Lovato noted that this “didn’t fix anything. It didn’t take anything away. It made me feel worse.” She added, “That, for some reason, was my way of taking the power back. All it did was bring me back to my knees, begging God for help.”

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.