Demi Lovato Discusses Sexual Assault and Waking Up Legally Blind After 2018 Overdose

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Image via Getty/Rachel Murray/Teen Vogue

Demi Lovato is sharing the dark details of a traumatizing moment in her life.

Lovato’s documentary, Dancing with the Devil, premiered at Austin, Texas’s South by Southwest festival on Tuesday. Throughout the piece, Lovato shares the trials and triumphs of her career including her tragic 2018 overdose.

“I was legally blind when I woke up,” Lovato said per USA Today when recalling waking up from her fateful overdose. Although she has since regained her eyesight, Lovato explained that she suffered brain damage from the multiple strokes she had during her overdose. This resulted in her having permanent sight issues.

“I can’t drive anymore and I have blind spots in my vision,” she said. “So sometimes when I go to pour a glass of water, I totally miss the cup because I can’t see it anymore.”

Not only did the overdose cause health issues, but Lovato was also taken sexually assaulted by her unidentified drug dealer the night she nearly died. Lovato recalls partying at bars in Los Angeles before returning home to continue the night. She called her dealer to bring her oxycodone which she believes was laced with fentanyl.

“I didn’t just overdose – I also was taken advantage of,” she said. “I’ve had my fair share of sexual trauma throughout childhood, teenage years. And when they found me, I was naked, I was blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me.”

“When I woke up in the hospital, they asked if I had had consensual sex,” she continued. “There was one flash that I had of him on top of me. I saw that flash and I said, ‘Yes.’ It wasn’t until a month after my overdose when I realized, ‘Hey, you weren’t in any state of mind to make a consensual decision.’ That kind of trauma doesn’t go away overnight. … I was literally discarded and abandoned.”

Yet, this near-death experience wasn’t enough to keep her sober. She admits to using heroin again after her overdose because she wanted to reclaim the feelings the abuse and overdose took from her.

“It didn’t fix anything, it just made me feel worse,” she explained. “But that, for some reason, was my way of taking the power back.”

The battle with mental health and lack of personal power that aided in her drug abuse has been one she’s been fighting for a long time. She’s been open about her struggles with bipolar disorder as well as bouts with anorexia, bulimia, and self-harm. This is something that has plagued her family. During her 2017 documentary, Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated, she revealed that her biological father also struggled with alcoholism and substance abuse.

Now, after rehab and other treatment, Lovato is able to smoke weed and drink in moderation. She’s also learning more about her sexuality which is touched on in the four-part documentary as well as other traumatic experiences that helped shape her into the person she is today. Fans can watch Dancing with the Devil on March 23 when it hits YouTube.

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