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“It was someone that I knew. It was terrifying” Lady Gaga on the lasting emotional pain of sexual assault

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Amy Swales
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Lady Gaga has discussed coming to terms with the rape she suffered at the age of 19 in an emotional interview, describing herself as “still in so much pain”.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about her involvement in The Hunting Ground, a documentary highlighting sex attacks on university campuses in America, she said the alleged attacker was someone she knew in the music industry.

“I was already Lady Gaga when it happened,” she explained in a joint interview with songwriter Diane Warren. “It was someone that I knew, and it was done to manipulate me in conjunction with money and my music, and it was terrifying.

“It's something that changed me forever, and it made me question everything about what I had done to be where I am today. I thought to myself, ‘Did I do something wrong to bring this on myself? What did I do?’”

lady gaga diane warren the hunting ground

Songwriter Diane Warren and Lady Gaga, pictured in December

Lending her considerable star power to the film, which has been shortlisted for an Oscar nomination, the singer co-wrote Til It Happens To You with Warren, and released an accompanying video in September (see below).

She added: “I am so sick of people walking in and out of my life telling me that I'm ‘gonna be okay’ because I am still in so much pain that you can't understand.

“The person that I'm singing to is the person that wants to heal me – I'm telling them that they can't.”

Gaga, 29, last year went public about the ramifications of the alleged assault, telling radio host Howard Stern that her attacker was 20 years older and that the psychological effects of such an experience continued for years afterwards: “It didn't affect me as much right after as it did about four or five years later. It hit me so hard. I was so traumatised by it.”

She said in December: “I didn’t know how to even think about it, accept it, how to not blame myself or think it was my fault. It was something that really changed my life, it changed who I was completely, it changed my body, it changed my thoughts.”

The song is a highly personal track for both women, as Warren, 49, also spoke about her own experience of alleged assault as a child.

“It's all about trust, you know? My thing was [perpetrated by] my best friend's dad from the time I was a kid. And it f--ks you up. It's f--ked me up to this day. I don't know if any amount of therapy helps it.”

According to the official website, The Hunting Ground is available to download on iTunes. Visit thehuntinggroundfilm.com for more information. The full interview with The Hollywood Reporter can be found here.

Visit rapecrisis.org.uk for more information on specialist services and organisations in your area, or call the free Rape Crisis helpline on 0808 802 9999. The helpline is open daily 12pm-2.30pm and 7pm-9.30pm, as well as 3pm-5.30pm on weekdays.

The Survivors Trust can be contacted on 0808 801 0818 or visit the website thesurvivorstrust.org

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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