'Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil': 9 Most Shocking Docuseries Revelations
By Rachel McRady
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It's a no-holds-barred look at Demi Lovato's tumultuous past few years. In the new YouTube Originals docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil, the 28-year-old singer shares the shocking details of her 2018 relapse, subsequent overdose, alleged sexual assault, and more. The series premiered at SXSW on Tuesday night ahead of its March 23 premiere on YouTube.
No topic is off-limits as she opens up about the months leading up to her overdose and the disturbing health repercussions she's faced since.
Here's a look at the most shocking moments from the new series:
When the singer relapsed on drugs and alcohol in April 2018, she had just celebrated six years of sobriety. And she didn't just relapse on more mainstream substances. As she outlines in the docuseries, Lovato immediately went to hard drugs the night of her relapse.
"I picked up a bottle of red wine that night, and it wasn't even 30 minutes before I picked up the phone and called someone that I knew had drugs on them," Lovato recalls. "I'm surprised I didn't OD that night. I ended up at a party. I just so happened to run into my old drug dealer from six years before... I just went to town. I went on a shopping spree. That night I did drugs I'd never done before. I'd never done meth before, I tried meth. I mixed it with Molly, with coke, weed, alcohol, oxycontin. And that alone should have killed me."
She added that two weeks later, she was "introduced to heroin and crack cocaine."
The docuseries goes into extreme detail about the health complications Lovato suffered as a result of her 2018 overdose. After being found in her bed unconscious by her assistant, Lovato was rushed to the hospital.
"It was like a horror movie. They put her in ICU. She had a tube in her neck that was taking her blood into a machine, cleaning it, and then putting it back into her neck," Lovato's mom, Dianna De La Garza, shares, noting the tube was sewn into the singer's neck.
Opening up about everything that happened to her, Lovato reveals the extent of what she overcame physically.
"I actually don't think people realize how bad it actually was. I had three strokes. I had a heart attack. I suffered brain damage from the strokes," she shares. "I can't drive anymore and I have blind spots in my vision, so sometimes when I go to pour a glass of water, I'll totally miss the cup because I can't see it anymore. I also had pneumonia because I asphyxiated and multiple organ failure."
She also notes that she was surprised to have overdosed that night because she was smoking the drugs rather than injecting them.
"At the end of the day when you do too much of anything, it's going to kill you," she adds. "I'm really lucky to be alive. My doctors said I had five to 10 more minutes and had my assistant not come in, I wouldn't be here today."
The main area where Lovato suffered was in her vision. When she first woke up, she couldn't see her friends or family.
"I was legally blind when I woke up," she says. "My little sister [Madison De La Garza] was at my bedside and I was so blind that I couldn't see who she was even though she was standing next to me."
Claims of Sexual Assault
Not only did Lovato overdose in 2018, she now alleges that she was sexually assaulted by the man she refers to as her drug dealer who she claims provided the drugs that almost took her life.
"What people don't realize about that night for me is that I didn't just overdose, I also was taken advantage of," she shares. "When they found me, I was naked. I was blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me."
She continues noting that she was asked in the hospital if she had consensual sex and when she remembered a flash of the alleged encounter, she responded that she had.
"It actually wasn't until maybe a month after my overdose that I realized, 'Hey, you weren't in any state of mind to make a consensual decision,'" Lovato says. "That kind of trauma doesn't go away overnight."
Perhaps one of Lovato's most shocking revelations was that she relapsed on heroin after her near-death overdose.
"I wish I could say that the last night that I ever touched heroin was the night of my overdose, but it wasn't," the singer admits. "I had just done a week-long intensive trauma retreat. The night that I came back from my retreat, I called [my dealer]."
Lovato met up with the same drug dealer who she alleged violated her and left her for dead.
"I wanted to rewrite his choice of violating me. I wanted it now to be my choice," she shares. "And he also had something I wanted, which were drugs. I ended up getting high. I thought how did I pick up the same drugs that put me in the hospital? I was mortified at my decisions."
"It didn't take anything away. It just made me feel worse," she admits. "But that for some reason was my way of taking the power back. All it did was bring me back to my knees of begging God for help."
Losing Her Virginity in an Alleged Rape
When discussing the alleged sexual assault in 2018, Lovato also alleges that she became a rape victim as a teenager.
"When I was a teenager, I was in a very similar situation. I lost my virginity in a rape," Lovato says. "I called that person back a month later and tried to make it right by being in control and all it did was just make me feel worse."
Lovato does not reveal who the person in question was, but says that she and the young actor were "hooking up" at the time.
"But I said, 'Hey, this is not going any further. I'm a virgin and I don't want to lose it this way.' And that didn't matter to them, they did it anyways," she states. "And I internalized it and I told myself it was my fault because I still went in the room with him. I still hooked up with him."
Lovato adds that she had to see the actor "all the time" after the alleged rape.
Lovato also reveals that she told someone what happened to her at the time and that the unnamed individual was not punished for his actions.
"F**k it, I'm just going to say it. My 'Me Too' story is me telling somebody that someone did this to me and they never got in trouble for it," she says. "They never got taken out of the movie they were in. But I've just kept it quiet because I've always had something to say and it's like, I don't know. I'm tired of opening my mouth. So there's the tea."
End of Her Engagement
In a departure from the somber tone of the docuseries, Lovato is seen celebrating her new relationship with actor Max Ehrich. It is revealed that Max moved in with Lovato and her family at the start of quarantine for the coronavirus pandemic, several months before they got engaged. This is quickly followed by the news that the couple's engagement has ended.
"Honestly, what happened? I think I rushed into something that I thought was what I was supposed to do," she later says. "I realized as time went on that I didn't actually know the person that I was engaged to."
Describing the relationship as "false advertising" to her friends, Lovato adds that starting a relationship in quarantine changed the trajectory.
"It's just, like, of course that accelerated. I didn't even have my best friends to hang out with in quarantine," she says. "The hardest part of the breakup was mourning the person I thought he was."
Following their split, Ehrich publicly claimed that he found out about the end of their relationship via a tabloid.
"I mean, I was just as shocked as the rest of the world at some of the things that were said and done," Lovato says of Ehrich's response to their split.
Her Bipolar Diagnosis
After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011, Lovato now says she believes she was misdiagnosed.
"I've been told that they think I was misdiagnosed when I was 18," she says. "I came out to the public when I found out I was bipolar because I thought that it put a reasoning behind my actions. But what I didn't do was get a second opinion."
The docuseries then shares a headline about Lovato punching one of her backup dancers.
"I was acting out when I was 18 for many reasons, but I know now from multiple different doctors that it was not because I was bipolar," she says. "I had to grow up."
Lovato reveals she's been getting injections of Vivitrol, an opioid blocker, in the years since her overdose. The medication keeps the user from receiving a high if they were to take drugs.
"Do I ever want to touch heroin again? No. Do I think I will? Absolutely not," she says. "But I still get it just because at least for a few years it can't hurt me."
Current Substance Use
One of the more emotional moments of the docuseries comes when Lovato opens up about her current stance on alcohol and drug use.
"I know I'm done with the stuff that's going to kill me, right?" she says. "Telling myself that I can never have a drink or smoke marijuana, I feel like that's setting myself up for failure because I am such a black-and-white thinker. I had it drilled into my head for so many years that one drink was equivalent to a crack pipe."
She went on to share that she's "been smoking weed and drinking in moderation."
She was hesitant to come forward with this after her overdose and years of being a role model for sobriety.
"I also don't want people to hear that and think that they can go out and try having a drink or smoking a joint, you know? Because it isn't for everybody," she says. "Recovery isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. You shouldn't be forced to get sober if you're not ready. You shouldn't get sober for other people. You have to do it for yourself."
Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil premieres March 23 on YouTube.