In an emotional interview during the premiere episode of Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry’s mental health docuseries The Me You Can’t See on Apple TV+, Lady Gaga reflects on the lingering effects of being sexually assaulted as a teenager, becoming pregnant, and struggling to cope with ongoing abuse, inflicted by an unnamed producer whom the singer says demanded she take her clothes off or they would burn her music. “I just froze and I- I don’t even remember,” the singer says of the assault. “And I will not say his name. I understand this Me Too movement, and I understand people feel real comfortable with this, and I do not. I do not ever want to face that person again.”
It wasn’t until years later, when Gaga began experiencing chronic pain, for which her doctor advised her to see a psychiatrist, that she discovered she was suffering from PSTD, a diagnosis which the singer first went public with in 2016 and previously discussed with Oprah during Winfrey’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour.
“First I felt full-on pain, then I went numb,” Gaga recalls. “I realized it was the same pain I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on the corner, at my parents’ house, because I was vomiting and sick. Because I was being abused. I was locked away in a studio for months.”
As the result, the singer says, “I had a total psychotic break, and for a couple years, I was not the same girl,” which the episode indicates happened in 2018. The singer also discusses coping with self-harm. “Even if I have six brilliant months, all it takes is getting triggered once to feel bad,” she says. “And when I say I feel bad, I mean I want to cut. Think about dying. Wondering if I’m ever going to do it. I learned all the ways to pull myself out of it.”
“What’s so interesting is the line I walk, feeling like I wanna cut myself and feeling like I don’t, are actually real close together,” says Gaga. “Everybody thinks it’s gotta be a straight line, that it’s like every other virus, that you get sick and then you get cured. It’s not like that. It’s just not like that. And actually, I think that traps people.”
“I don’t tell this story for my own self-service, because, to be honest, it’s hard to tell,” the singer explains. “I feel a lot of shame about it. How do I explain to people that I have privilege, I’ve got money, I’ve got power, and I’m miserable? How do you do that? I’m not here to tell my story to you because I want anybody to cry for me. I’m good. But open your heart up for somebody else. Because I’m telling you, I’ve been through it and people need help. So, that’s part of my healing, being able to talk to you.” The Me You Can’t See debuts Friday on Apple TV+.