Trigger warning: Drug abuse, eating disorders, rape and sexual assault, death.
Demi Lovato is setting the record straight about that night on July 24th, 2018. We all saw the headlines, we all know what happened, or do we? In Demi’s new four-part docuseries Dancing With The Devil, she relives the horrifying, pain-staking details which lead to her near-fatal overdose. But she’s ready to give life a second chance. Living by the mantra, “you are not your lowest moments.” Demi is no stranger to unpacking a history of personal struggles into a documentary. Back in 2012, a seemingly sober 18-year-old Demi detailed her first stint in rehab in Staying Strong (she later revealed she had been using cocaine during filming). Five years later, in YouTube Original’s Simply Complicated, she opened up about the depths of her addictions and her bipolar disorder diagnosis. But despite all of the cameras, Demi has been an expert at only allowing others to see what she wanted them to see. Until now.
In Dancing With the Devil, Demi speaks candidly on how years of micromanaging her recovery led her to break her six years of sobriety, as well as sharing allegations of sexual abuse. Alongside commentary from her family, friends, former assistant, neurologist, and head of security, Dancing With The Devil is finally her unfiltered truth. Here are all the shocking revelations we learned from Part 1 and 2.
Part 1: Losing Control
She had been suppressing the guilt she felt from her Dad’s death
Demi has previously opened up about her late father, Patrick Lovato, including songs she’s written about him. But in the docuseries we find her reflecting on the resentment and guilt she felt about not reaching out to help him with his own struggles and addiction.
Beauty pageants contributed to an unhealthy relationship with food from a young age
As a child, Demi Lovato competed in beauty pageants and developed self-esteem issues before she even reached puberty. At just 8 years old she battled an eating disorder, carrying it into her teen years due to living life in the public eye. To this day she still struggles with her relationship with food, even hiring a dietician, nutritionist, therapist, and wellness coach.
She scrapped the filming of a tour documentary in 2018
In early 2018, Demi started filming a documentary capturing her life on her Tell Me You Love Me Tour. After spiraling back into drugs and alcohol, the cameras also captured her in the party scene and even writing her song ‘Sober,’ admitting her relapse. While certain footage from the unreleased doco is included in Dancing With The Devil, Demi decided to scrap it after her overdose.
She relapsed a month after celebrating six years of being sobriety
“I remember being at a photo shoot and just thinking to myself, I don’t even remember why I’m sober anymore. I’m so miserable. I’m not happy,” within 30 minutes of opening a bottle of red wine.
Demi admitted to keeping her new drug addiction from her loved ones
At the time, her inner circle knew she had started drinking again, but in moderation. What they didn’t know was that she had her old drug dealer on speed dial and was experimenting. While on holiday in Bali, she penned the confessional ballad ‘Sober’, as a public apology after she realised she had become “physically dependent” on drugs.
Part 2: 5 Minutes From Death
Demi’s family and friends found out about her overdose at the same time as the rest of the world
Imagine landing from a flight and finding out your best friend had overdosed at the same time as the rest of the other passengers on the plane. That was the reality for Demi’s closest friend Sirah. Demi’s mum, two sisters, and friend Matthew also found out that she had been hospitalised after receiving masses of texts from concerned friends sending well wishes after seeing the news on TMZ.
“I actually don’t think people realize how bad it actually was.”
Demi reveals that she is “lucky to be alive” after her overdose left her with permanent damage. She suffered three strokes, a heart attack, and brain damage which left blind spots in her vision, so she can no longer drive. She also experienced pneumonia from her asphyxiation and multiple organ failures. Had her assistant not found her in her bedroom until 10 minutes later, then she would not have been here today. When she first woke up in the hospital, she was legally blind and could not see her sister sitting next to her.
She was allegedly sexually assaulted the same night as her overdose
The night of her overdose, Demi’s friend Sirah says her drug dealer “ended up getting her really high and leaving her for dead.” Demi claims that he supplied her with what she believes were “aftermarket” drugs laced with fentanyl and then physically took advantage of her, It wasn’t until a month after her overdose that she realised that she “wasn’t in any state of mind to make a consensual decision.” Lovato then went on to reveal that she was only 15 the first time she was sexually assaulted.
Below is a list of helpline services available right now in New Zealand. If you or someone you know is in need of support, there are places you can go for help.
Alcohol Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797
Rape Crisis – 0800 883 300 (for support after rape or sexual assault)
Eating Disorder Helpline: 0800 2 EDANZ (0800 2 33269)
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Part 1 and 2 of Demi Lovato: Dancing With The Devil is out now on her YouTube channel. Part 3 and 4 are set for release on Wednesday, March 31st, and April 7th at 8am.