Selena Gomez Opens Up About Being Emotionally Abused by Justin Bieber

Selena Gomez has endured a roller coaster over the past few years, battling lupus and mental health issues, as well as dating and dealing with breakups in the public eye. She’s come out of it stronger and has a lot to say about it in her recently released album, Rare. In a Jan. 26 interview with NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Gomez opened up about her mental health struggles and suffering emotional abuse when she dated Justin Bieber.

Selena Gomez opens up about dating Justin Bieber
Selena Gomez | Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Gomez explained why she needs to “claim my story”

During her NPR interview, when Garcia-Navarro stated, “a lot has happened to you since your last album, Revival, came out in 2015, and a lot of it in the public eye,” Gomez remarked with a laugh, “Right. Super fun.”

The singer shared why she’s been “so vocal” about what she’s been through, telling the interviewer, “people were already going to narrate that for me. I wasn’t going to have a choice because of how fast everything moves now.”

She continued: “And most of the time, yes, it’s not true, or it’s an embellished version of what the truth is. I want to be able to tell my story the way that I want to tell it. And all of these things happened, and I wasn’t going to deny that, I wasn’t going to pretend to put a smile on when it actually was awful — a few of the worst moments of my life. And I don’t know if I would have made it. And that’s medical reasons, obviously, and emotional reasons. I just had to find a way to claim my story.”

Gomez wanted “respectful closure”

In discussing her song “Lose You To Love Me,” Gomez shed some light on dating Bieber. She said of the song: “I’m very proud of it. It has a different meaning to me now from when I wrote it. 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.”

She continued: “It’s not a hateful song; it’s a song that is saying — I had something beautiful and I would never deny that it wasn’t that. It 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.”

When the interviewer noted, “saying goodbye to Justin Bieber, who I’m assuming you’re speaking about,” Gomez responded, “You had to get the name in, I get it.”

Gomez admitted she was emotionally abused by Bieber

The singer opened up about the emotional abuse when she shared that she’s “found strength in” the painful parts of her life, adding, “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…”

When the interviewer interjected, “You mean emotional abuse?,” Gomez shared, “Yes, 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.”