Lady Gaga. Photo: Getty Images
Lady Gaga didn’t tell anyone she was raped until seven years after it happened.
The singer spoke very frankly about the traumatic experience she went through at the age of 19 during a Thursday night TimesTalks Q&A for the campus rape documentary “The Hunting Ground,” whichfeatures a powerful song about the subject by Gaga.
“I didn’t tell anyone for, I think, seven years,” said Gaga, now 29. “I didn’t know how to even think about it, I didn’t know how to accept it, I didn’t know how to not blame myself or think it was my fault. It’s something that really changed my life, it changed who I was completely. It changed my body, it changed my thoughts.”
She said that in addition to immediate physical pain and lasting mental and emotional effects, she has physically re-experienced the trauma through the years. “It can trigger patterns in your body of physical distress,” she recalled.
In 2014, the pop star opened up about her rape publicly for the first time during an interview with Howard Stern, saying that an older, unnamed man was responsible.
At Thursday’s Q&A, she also spoke about the ideas of guilt and self-blame.
“After it happened, I’m like, ‘But what did I do in my life to bring it upon myself?’ Maybe there was some sort of religious guilt attached to it, that I had somehow inspired the violence,” she said. “… For me, because of the way that I dress and the way that I’m provocative as a person, I thought I had brought it upon myself in some way, that it was my fault. I just never even told anyone.”
Warning: Explicit language