Demi Lovato Reflects on Drug Overdose, Reveals Eating Disorder Halted Acting Career

"What's important to focus on is the outpouring of love and support," the pop star told Harper's Bazaar in a candid cover story. "It made it OK for someone they know to ask for help."

Demi Lovato spoke candidly with Harper's Bazaar for the fashion magazine's latest cover story, published Tuesday. The pop star opened up about surviving a near-fatal drug overdose in 2018, how her eating disorder caused her to pause her acting career and recovering from her struggles in the public eye, among other topics.

"I’ve really appreciated the patience the public has given me over the past year and a half to figure my shit out," said Lovato, who made a triumphant return to the spotlight with powerful back-to-back performances at this year's Super Bowl and Grammy Awards. She is also readying her as-yet-untitled seventh studio album, which has already spawned the self-celebratory single "I Love Me." She drops a new single, "I'm Ready," with Sam Smith on Friday.

While she has been relatively silent since her headline-making overdose, Lovato said she is ready to reveal more about the experience with her new music. "I’ve also sat back on the sidelines for two years. I’ve kept my mouth shut, while the tabloids have run wild," she continued. "And my album is finally the place where I get to set the record straight on everything."

Lovato told Harper's Bazaar that her struggles were made all the more difficult because of the media attention she attracts. "It also kind of made it a little challenging because I did deal with that in the public eye — that was the way some people found out. I had relatives who got alerts on their phones," she recounted of her relapse, which came after six years of sobriety. "We didn’t even get to call them before they saw what happened."

Lovato said she now hopes to use her voice to empower those who have suffered similarly and destigmatize addiction. "What’s important to focus on is the outpouring of love and support," she said. "It made it OK for someone they know to ask for help."

Lovato went on to discuss her return to acting as well. She stars in Netflix's upcoming comedy Eurovision alongside Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams and Pierce Brosnan. She said that she is thrilled to get back in front of the camera after her complicated relationship with food made it impossible to do so. "My eating disorder kept me from going back to acting for years," Lovato said. "But I finally came to a place with my body where I thought, 'Why am I going to let this stop me when it’s just my shell?' I’ve stopped letting my weight control my life."

Lovato also reflected on her past as a Disney Channel star. She became a household name in 2008 thanks to a lead role in the network's Camp Rock film franchise, which also starred the Jonas Brothers. Miley Cyrus' megapopular Disney Channel sitcom Hannah Montana was airing at the same time, as was Selena Gomez's Wizards of Waverly Place. While the young entertainers used to interact frequently at crossover events, Lovato — who once even dated Joe Jonas — revealed that she only keeps in touch with Cyrus these days.

"I talk to Miley," she said. "She’s awesome, and I love her to death and always will, always have. But I think she’s kind of the only one from that era that I still stay in touch with."

Asked about Gomez voicing support for Lovato via Instagram the night of this year's Grammys, Lovato admitted they haven't maintained a close relationship. "When you grow up with somebody, you’re always going to have love for them. But I’m not friends with her, so it felt …" Lovato said, stopping herself. "I will always have love for her, and I wish everybody nothing but the best."

Read Lovato's entire Harper's Bazaar profile here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Introducing our May 2020 cover star, Demi Lovato. We interviewed the pop star in early March, before all of our lives were upended by COVID-19 crisis. But it’s our hope that her openness and willingness to discuss her own struggle with emotional wellness and wellbeing will serve as a reminder of how important it is for us all to stay in touch with our mental health—and each other—in these uncertain times.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣ “There are so many people alone with their thoughts right now. Some people are home alone or don’t have family or pets; they only have their minds and their thoughts. We have to learn to quiet our thoughts with things like meditation, checking in with friends, or finding things that will help you grow emotionally and spiritually.” —@ddlovato. See the full cover shoot and read her interview at the link in our bio.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣ If you or someone you know is struggling to cope with the current crisis, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text HOME to 741741 to be connected with a crisis counselor.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣ Editor-in-chief: @glendabailey ⁣⁣ Photographer: @alexilubomirski ⁣⁣ Fashion Editor: @Menamorado ⁣⁣ Dress: @maisonvalentino⁣⁣ Jewelry: @cartier⁣⁣ Hair: @mrchrismcmillan Makeup: @hungvanngo ⁣⁣ Manicure: @lisajachno

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