Lady Gaga: I Was Raped as a Teenager
In a very candid interview with The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday, the Mother Monster revealed that she was sexually assaulted by an older man when she was just 19. When DJ Howard Stern asked pressed about her song “Swine” and its now-infamous vomit-filled stage performance, Gaga explained that she wanted to write about the “demoralization” of herself after confronting with her inner demons.
“The song is about rage and fury and passion, and I had a lot of pain that I wanted to release,” she said. “I said to myself, ‘I want to sing this song while I’m ripping hard on a drum kit, and then I want to get on a mechanical bull’—which is probably one of the most demoralizing things that you can put a female on in her underwear—’and I want this chick to throw up on me in front of the world so that I can tell them, you know what? You could never, ever degrade as much as I could degrade myself, and look how beautiful it is when I do.'”
When Stern asked if she was “raped by a record producer,” Gaga replied, “I went through some horrific things that I’m able to laugh [at] now, because I’ve gone through a lot of mental and physical therapy and emotional therapy to heal over the years. My music’s been wonderful for me. But, you know, I was a shell of my former self at one point. I was not myself. To be fair, I was about 19. I went to Catholic school and then all this crazy stuff happened, and I was going, ‘Oh, is this just the way adults are?’… I was very naïve.”
“It happens every day, and it’s really scary, and it’s sad. It didn’t affect me as much right after as it did about four or five years later. It hit me so hard. I was so traumatized by it that I was like, ‘Just keep going.’ Because I just had to get out of there,” she continued, adding that she “wasn’t even willing to admit that anything had even happened” at the time.
Gaga, who is now dating Chicago Fire star Taylor Kinney, added that she has yet to confront her rapist despite the fact that she did run into him once after the assault.
“I think it would terrify me. It would paralyze me,” she said of facing her attacker. “I saw him one time in a store and I was so paralyzed by fear … Because it wasn’t until I was a little bit older that I went, ‘Wow, that was really messed up.'”
The “Born This Way” crooner also said that the man have been telling people that the two of them used to date, musing, “You were 20 years older than me. I was a kid. How is that a date?”
“It took me a long time to feel strong about it,” the songstress said. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t tell anybody. And I didn’t even tell myself for the longest time. And then I was like, ‘You know what? All this drinking and all this nonsense, you have to go to the source, otherwise it just won’t go away. It will not go away.”
According to Gaga, now 28, she was hesitant to talk about the incident because she doesn’t want it to overshadow her work as a musician.
“I don’t want to be defined by it. I’ll be damned if somebody’s gonna say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one dickhead who did that to me,” she told Stern. “I’m going to take responsibility for all my pain looking beautiful. All the things that I’ve made out of my strife, I did that.”