Lady Gaga is the voice of the emotional ballad “Til It Happens to You” for campus rape documentary “The Hunting Ground,” and now the singer-turned-actress is opening up about being raped at the age of 19.
“I didn’t know how to 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,” she said. “It’s something that really changed my life. It changed who I was completely. It changed my body, it changed my thoughts.”
Gaga first opened up about the horrific rape on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM show in Dec. 2014, but expanded on the experience during the panel by revealing how it changed both her body and her mind.
“When you go through a trauma like that, it doesn’t just have the immediate physical ramifications,” she explained. “For many people it has almost like trauma, where you re-experience it through the years after it. It can trigger patterns in your body of physical distress. So a lot of people suffer not just emotional and mental pain, but physical pain as a result of being abused, raped or traumatized in some way.”
Gaga earlier told Stern that a man “20 years older” took advantage of her, but she has since gone to great lengths to make sure it didn’t define her.
“I don’t want to be defined by it,” she said. “I’ll be damned if somebody’s gonna say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one d–khead that did that to me. I’m gonna take responsibility for all my pain looking beautiful and all the things I’ve made out of my strife. I did that.”
“The Hunting Ground” is a documentary about alleged incidents of rape on college campuses. It was written and directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Amy Ziering, premiering at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Lady Gaga recorded the song for the film.
Watch the panel discussion below.