Winfrey recalled asking her friend Cooper if there was something going between him and his A Star Is Born co-star, who played a couple onscreen, after their smoldering Oscars performance. She went on to say, “He said his Catholic guilt would have never let him be able to look you in the eye at that piano,” as his then-girlfriend, Irina Shayk, looked on from the audience.
Winfrey praised Gaga’s handling of the gossip, to which the singer/actress/beauty mogul replied, “Quite frankly, I think the press is very silly. I mean, we made a love story. For me, as a performer and as an actress, of course we wanted people to believe that we were in love. And we wanted people to feel that love at the Oscars. We wanted it to go right through the lens of that camera and to every television that it was being watched on. And we worked hard on it, we worked for days. We mapped the whole thing out — it was orchestrated as a performance.”
The women also talked about Cooper being — in Gaga’s words — “a beautiful father” to his 2-year-old daughter, Lea De Seine.
Newly single herself after her split from rumored boyfriend Daniel Horton, Gaga and Winfrey talked about many more important topics. They discussed kindness, mental health, Gaga’s rape and PTSD, as well as her psychotic break (“one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me”) and fibromyalgia. Gaga also spoke about learning how to stop self-harm.
“I’ve actually not opened up very much about this, but I think it’s an important thing for people to know and hear: I was a cutter for a long time, and the only way that I was able to stop cutting and self-harming myself was to realize that what I was doing was trying to show people that I was in pain instead of telling them and asking for help,” she said. “When I realized that telling someone, ‘Hey, I am having an urge to hurt myself,’ that defused it. I then had someone next to me saying, ‘You don’t have to show me. Just tell me: What are you feeling right now?’ And then I could just tell my story.”
Gaga continued, “I say that with a lot of humility and strength; I’m very grateful that I don’t do it anymore, and I wish to not glamorize it. One thing that I would suggest to people who struggle with trauma response or self-harm issues or suicidal ideation is actually ice. If you put your hands in a bowl of ice-cold water, it shocks the nervous system, and it brings you back to reality.”
Gaga’s mental health battle is ongoing, as she suffers from PTSD as the result of being raped “repeatedly for months” at age 19.
“I once believed that there was no way back from my trauma,” she said. “I really did. I was in physical, mental, and emotional pain. And medicine works, but you need medicine with the therapy for it to really work, because there’s a part that you have to do yourself.”
And when she looks at the Oscar she won for “Shallow,” Gaga said it’s representative of the pain she’s endured during her life — and surviving despite it.
“When I won the Oscar ... a reporter asked me, ‘When you look at that Oscar, what do you see?’ And I said, “I see a lot of pain.” And I wasn’t lying in that moment. I was raped when I was 19 years old, repeatedly. I have been traumatized in a variety of ways by my career over the years from many different things, but I survived, and I’ve kept going. And when I looked at that Oscar, I saw pain. I don’t know that anyone understood it when I said it in the room, but I understood it.”
And she hopes “that kid out there or even that adult out there who’s been through so much, I want them to know that they can keep going, and they can survive, and they can win their Oscar. I would also beckon to anyone to try, when they feel ready, to ask for help. And I would beckon to others that if they see someone suffering, to approach them and say, ‘Hey, I see you. I see that you’re suffering, and I’m here. Tell me your story.’”
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