Lady Gaga revealed that she was raped when she was 19 years old by a music producer. She made the stunning revelation during an interview on The Howard Stern Show. After initially alluding to troubled times, when pressed, she broke her silence about the incident, the aftermath and what she did to heal and to move on.
The pop music superstar was in the midst of a typical radio interview, as she has been doing promotion for her collaborative jazz album with music legend Tony Bennett. It would remained just that. Just another interview.
However this interview took quite a different turn in the midst of Lady Gaga’s discussion of her controversial SXSW performance of ‘Swine’ which saw performance artist Millie Brown projectile vomit paint on her.
In speaking of the meaning and rationale behind it, Lady Gaga noted that ‘Swine’ was about rape and degradation. She said that, as such, in allowing this stage performance no one could ““ever degrade me as much as I could degrade myself.”
Howard Stern then asked her bluntly if she had been raped. She first attempted to evade the discussion, and, as the audio reveals, she clearly goes through an internal struggle. She said ‘I don’t — I don’t want to” She then exclaimed, “Happy times! Let’s talk about happy things!”
But Stern continued to press and Lady Gaga began saying that when she “went through some horrific things” and added, “I’m able to laugh now, because I’ve gone through a lot of mental and physical therapy and emotional therapy to heal over the years.”
She continued, saying, “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.”
She also said, “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 naive.”‘
She went on to speak of the aftermath, saying, ““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.”
Lady Gaga then said, “I don’t want to be defined by it. I’ll be damned if somebody’s going to say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one d-ckhead who did that to me.’I think it would terrify me. It would paralyze me.”
She said the man was a music producer 20 years older than she. When Howard Stern asked if she had ever confronted him since, Lady Gaga said, “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.”‘
She also 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.”‘
Her interview covered many other subjects including her relationship with longtime boyfriend ‘Chicago Fire’ star Taylor Kinney, but it is this unexpected revelation which has generated headlines and received much attention.
The full audio of Lady Gaga’s interview is below.