Lady Gaga spoke about being sexually assaulted and her constant battle with mental health as she was honoured at ELLE’s Women in Hollywood event Monday night.
The 32-year-old, real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, explained why she wore an oversized Marc Jacobs suit that evening.
She then told the crowd, while fighting back tears: “As a sexual assault survivor by someone in the entertainment industry, as a woman who is still not brave enough to say his name, as a woman who lives with chronic pain, as a woman who was conditioned at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today I wear the pants.”
“In an age where I can barely watch the news, I gasped at the unjust men, and some women quite frankly, that I see running this country. I had a revelation that I had to be empowered to be myself today more than ever. To resist the standards of Hollywood, whatever that means. To resist the standards of dressing to impress. To use what really matters: my voice.”
Gaga said of her assault, “After I was assaulted when I was 19, I changed forever. Part of me shut down for many years. I didn’t tell anyone. I avoided it myself. And felt shame even still today standing in front of you. I feel shame for what happened to me. I still have days where I feel like it was my fault.
“After I shared what happened to me with very powerful men in this industry, nobody helped me. No one offered my guidance or a helping hand to lead me to a place where I felt justice, they didn’t even point me in the direction of the mental health assistance I was in dire need of. Those men hid because they were afraid of losing their power. And because they hid, I began to hide.”
The “Born This Way” singer continued, “I hid for a long time until I started to feel physical pain. Then I had to go to the doctor because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. And then I was diagnosed with PTSD and fibromyalgia, which many people don’t think is real, and I don’t even know what the f**k to say about that.”
Gaga’s appearance comes as she continues to hit headlines after playing the role of Ally in the recently released film, “A Star Is Born”.
She recently did an interview with ELLE for November’s “Women in Hollywood” issue, in which she reflected on her own journey as a pop singer.
Gaga shared, “Success tests relationships. It tests families. It tests your dynamic with your friends. There is a price to stardom, but I can’t make music or act without using and accessing the pain that I have in my heart. I mean, what better place to put it? Otherwise, it’s of no good use.”