Lady Gaga Shares Emotional Family Conversation After Oscars Performance: 'I Never Told Them I Was a Survivor'
By Meredith B. Kile
Lady Gaga provided one of the most powerful moments of Sunday's Oscars ceremony when she was joined onstage by a group of sexual assault survivors as she performed her Academy Award-nominated song, "Til It Happens to You." The song, co-written by Diane Warren, is featured in the college rape documentary, The Hunting Ground.
The performance inspired many to share their own stories of sexual assault and survival -- including actress Jaime King and Bachelor alum Jade Roper -- and, for the singer herself, helped her open up to family members about her own sexual abuse.
“My grandmother (in the middle) and my Aunt Sheri (on the right) both called me the day after the Oscars because I never told them I was a survivor,” Gaga captioned an Instagram pic on Tuesday. “I was too ashamed. Too afraid. And it took me a long time to even admit it to myself because I'm Catholic and I knew it was evil but I thought it was my fault. I thought it was my fault for ten years.”
The singer said when she spoke to her grandmother the morning after her powerful Oscars performance, she could hear her tears “welling through the phone.”
“She said to me ‘My darling granddaughter, I've never been more proud of you than I am today,’” Gaga recounted. “Something I have kept a secret for so long that I was more ashamed of than anything-- became the thing the women in my life were the most proud of. And not just any women, the ones I look up to the most. #BeBrave #speakup #tilithappenstoyou.”
The singer first opened up about being sexually abused on The Howard Stern Show in December 2014, when she spoke to the radio host about a performance art piece she performance at the South by Southwest music festival earlier that year.
"I wrote a song called 'Swine.' The song is about rape,” Gaga told Stern at the time. “The song is about demoralization. The song is about rage and fury and passion, and I had a lot of pain that I wanted to release … I went through some horrific things, and 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. My music's been wonderful for me. But, you know, I was a shell of my former self at one point.”