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, they relive the horrifying, pain-staking details which lead to their near-fatal overdose. But they’re 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 their first stint in rehab in Staying Strong (they later revealed they had been using cocaine during filming). Five years later, in YouTube Original’s Simply Complicated, they opened up about the depths of their addictions and their bipolar disorder diagnosis. But despite all of the cameras, Demi has been an expert at only allowing others to see what they wanted them to see. Until now.
In Dancing With the Devil, Demi speaks candidly on how years of micromanaging their recovery led them to break their six years of sobriety, as well as sharing allegations of sexual abuse. Alongside commentary from their family, friends, former assistant, neurologist, and head of security, Dancing With The Devil is finally their unfiltered truth. Here are all the shocking revelations we learned from Part 1 and 2.
Part 1: Losing Control
They had been suppressing the guilt they felt from their Dad’s death
Demi has previously opened up about their late father, Patrick Lovato, including songs they’ve written about him. But in the docuseries we find them reflecting on the resentment and guilt they 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 competed in beauty pageants and developed self-esteem issues before they even reached puberty. At just 8 years old they battled an eating disorder, carrying it into their teen years due to living life in the public eye. To this day they still struggle with their relationship with food, even hiring a dietician, nutritionist, therapist, and wellness coach.
They scrapped the filming of a tour documentary in 2018
In early 2018, Demi started filming a documentary capturing their life on their Tell Me You Love Me Tour. After spiraling back into drugs and alcohol, the cameras also captured them in the party scene and even writing their song ‘Sober,’ admitting their relapse. While certain footage from the unreleased doco is included in Dancing With The Devil, Demi decided to scrap it after their overdose.
They 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 their new drug addiction from their loved ones
At the time, Demi’s inner circle knew they had started drinking again, but in moderation. What their friends didn’t know however was that they had their old drug dealer on speed dial and was experimenting. While on holiday in Bali, they penned the confessional ballad ‘Sober’, as a public apology after they realised they had become “physically dependent” on drugs.
Part 2: 5 Minutes From Death
Demi’s family and friends found out about their 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 they 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 they are “lucky to be alive” after their overdose left them with permanent damage. They suffered three strokes, a heart attack, and brain damage which left blind spots in their vision, so they can no longer drive. They also experienced pneumonia from their asphyxiation and multiple organ failures. Had their assistant not found them in their bedroom until 10 minutes later, then they would not have been here today. When they first woke up in the hospital, they were legally blind and could not see their sister sitting next to them.
They were allegedly sexually assaulted the same night as their overdose
The night of their overdose, Demi’s friend Sirah says their drug dealer “ended up getting them really high and leaving them for dead.” Demi claims that he supplied them with what they believe were “aftermarket” drugs laced with fentanyl and then physically took advantage of them. It wasn’t until a month after their overdose that they realised that they “weren’t in any state of mind to make a consensual decision.” Demi then went on to reveal that they was only 15 the first time they were 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
All parts of Demi Lovato: Dancing With The Devil are out now on their YouTube channel.