Demi Lovato has always been open with her fans, but in her documentary Simply Complicated, she opened up more than ever before. She spilled huge secrets about recovering from drug addiction, mental illness, romantic relationships, and fights with friends.
This year, Demi Lovato was the most googled person, in part because of her hospitalization back in July. Keep reading to learn more about Demi’s journey. We all wish her the best as she takes time to recover.
She Didn’t Have A Great Relationship With Her Dad
Demi’s father wasn’t exactly present in her life while she was growing up. Any Demi Lovato fan would know that she has a strained relationship with her dad from her song “Father” which includes lyrics like, “You did your best or did you? Sometimes I think I hate you. I’m sorry, dad, for feelin’ this. I can’t believe I’m sayin’ it.”
In the documentary, she says, “My dad was an addict and an alcoholic and I guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him and he chose that over a family.”
She Has Always Been Obsessed With Death
Even as a child, Demi’s mind was consumed by her dark thoughts. It almost seems like her diagnosis of depression was inevitable.
Demi said, “I was depressed at a very, very young age. Fascinated with death, wondering what it would be like to have a funeral. I never knew why I would think so darkly and it took me a long time to figure out what was actually going on.”
She Assaulted One Of Her Backup Dancers
Once, in a drug-fuelled rage, Demi attacked one of her backup dancers. The incident happened way back in 2010, and it may have been the catalyst for Demi entering rehab.
Demi talks about the incident in Simple Complicated. She was mad that Alex “Shorty” Welch told her manager that she was taking Adderall. Her secret was out and Demi wasn’t happy about that, so she punched Shorty in the face.
She Was Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder
Demi struggled with mental illness for a long time before she received a concrete diagnosis.
In the documentary, she revealed, “I was 18 when I first went into treatment. When I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it just made sense.” Lovato said that following the event, she entered rehab and learned about why she experienced episodes of mania as a child that caused her to stay up all night writing music.
She Almost Overdosed
Demi Lovato had an overdose scare recently, but that wasn’t the first time she thought she might be in trouble for drug-related reasons.
She said, “I went on a bender for two months where I was using daily. There was one night where I used a bunch of coke, and I popped a few Xanax bars and I started to choke a little bit. My heart started racing and I remember thinking, ‘Oh my god, I might be overdosing right now.'”
She’s Dealing With An Eating Disorder
Growing up in the public eye can’t be easy. When Demi first started acting, she was a skinny tween. When she started to grow up and grow some curves, she felt self-conscious.
Demi said, “One thing that I haven’t fully conquered is my eating disorder. The less I have to think about food, the easier it is for me to go about having a normal life. And I don’t want to let anybody down, so when I do have moments when I slip up, I feel very ashamed. What started the relapse was missing Wilmer (Valderrama).”
She’s A Perfectionist
Every time we see Demi Lovato recording a song in the documentary, she insists on recording multiple takes. Even when her producer tells her that he’s happy with a take, she insists on doing another one.
Demi wants one part of her song to be smoothed out. Her producer says, “yeah. I mean, in a perfect world, absolutely.” Demi replies, “well, this should be a perfect world. It’s my album.”
She Was Bullied In School
Through interviews with Demi’s mother and her sister, Dallas, we learn that Demi was intensely bullied in school. Dallas said that there was “this core group of girls who honestly in my eyes were pure %$&@# evil.”
It got so bad that at one point one girl started a petition to get Demi to kill herself. Demi became “friends” with some of the popular girls at school who introduced her to drugs at a young age.
She Was Lying About Being Sober
After going to rehab for the first time, Demi convinced everyone around her that she was taking treatment seriously. In reality, she was lying to all the people who cared about her.
She said, “I wasn’t working my program. I wasn’t ready to get sober. I was sneaking it on planes, sneaking it in bathrooms, sneaking it throughout the night. Nobody knew.” Demi was a hardcore drug addict and it took a long time for her to recover.
She Did Coke For The First Time At 17
Growing up in the spotlight wasn’t easy for Demi. She was suffering from mental illness and she had a hard time adjusting to constant public scrutiny (as anyone would). She turned to cocaine when she was just 17 years old.
She said, “My first time doing coke, I was 17 and working on Disney Channel and I was with a couple friends. They introduced me to it. I was scared, because my mom always told me that your heart could just burst if you do it, but I did it anyways and I loved it. I felt out of control with the coke the first time that I did it.”
She Almost Overdosed On Purpose
The first time Demi almost overdosed, she did it by accident. She took too many drugs, and by the time she realized she was in trouble, it was almost too late. The next time she overdosed, it was on purpose.
She was in Palm Springs and she locked herself in a bedroom. While a nurse was carting her away to the hospital, she grabbed a bottle of pills and swallowed them all.
She’s Embarrassed About Who She Used To Be
Demi recalled her embarrassing past behavior:
“I was not easy to work with. I was using while I had a sober companion, and I went through about 20 different sober companions. I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t feel guilty. I didn’t feel embarrassed. I would sneak out, get drugs. I would fake my drug tests with other people’s pee, and I’d lie straight to their faces. It’s embarrassing to look back at the person that I was.”
Her Management Team Almost Dropped Her
Demi’s Manager, Phil McIntyre, said that at one point, he fully intended on dropping Demi as a client because of her behavior.
One day Demi’s entire team approached her to tell her they were going to leave. Demi said, “It wasn’t a matter of if they were going to leave, it was, ‘We are leaving. There’s no more we can do for you.'” Demi cried and said she would do anything if they stayed with her.
Her Cellphone Was Part Of The Problem
Her management team told her to give them her phone. Demi smashed it and dunked it into a cup of water.
McIntyre held up her phone and said, “This was the gateway to everything. This was the wrong people, it was drug dealers, it was a lot of the negative influences in her life were coming through the cell phone.” WIth that one decisive action, Demi got her management team back.
She Wanted To Be Amy Winehouse
When she was younger, Demi made a collage of all the women she wanted to look like. She pulled the collage out of her closet in the documentary and said,
“I wanted to be like them. That was the chic look back then. I’ve got Amy Winehouse in there that I looked up to and wanted to be so badly. I wanted to be as thin as her, I wanted to sing like her, I wanted to be just like her.”
She Knew She Loved Wilmer Valderrama The Moment She Saw Him
Demi met Wilmer Valderrama when she was 17 and he was 29. They met at his home for a PSA shoot about the census.
Demi said, “To be honest, I only did it because I heard it was at his house, and I thought he was really cute. I didn’t really care about the census forms. But when I met him and laid eyes on him for the first time, I was in hair and makeup and he came and sat down, and I was like, ‘I love this man, and I have to have him.'”
Why They Broke Up
Demi revealed that she and Wilmer broke up because they felt like they were better off as friends. She also wanted to learn how to stand strong on her own without relying on Wilmer for happiness.
Demi said, “I think my heart’s always with Wilmer. I think that it was with Wilmer, I think that it is with Wilmer, and I think that it will be. You don’t share six years with somebody and not give them a piece of your heart, and vice-versa. I’m pretty sure that I’m not gonna meet anybody that compares to him, but I’m trying to keep an open heart and an open mind when it comes to that.”
She’s Actively Dating Men And Women
Even though she’s still heartbroken over losing Wilmer, she’s making an effort to get back into the dating scene.
In Simply Complicated, Demi reveals that she’s on the dating app Raya. She said, “I am on the dating app with both guys and girls. I am open to human connection, so whether that’s through a male or a female, it doesn’t matter to me.” Opening her heart has been difficult, but she knows it’s worth the effort.
Martial Arts Have Been Her Saving Grace
Demi Lovato talked about the power of physical activity. She uses MMA and Brazilian jujitsu to cope with all the stressors in her life. She said,
“I know that I would be a very dark place without it. Any time I’m able to take my mind off of any of my addictions, it’s very beneficial to me because you’re constantly thinking about what the next move is. The technique, the strategy… Working out is a form of meditation to me because I’m not focused on anything in my head. It can transport you to a totally different place. I’m on a journey to discover what it’s like to be free of all demons.”
She Trashed A Hotel
Demi was in full on party mode when she was in Columbia on the Camp Rock 2 tour. She ended up destroying a hotel room.
She said, “I invited a bunch of people to dinner,” she began. “My band and my background dancers [were there.] I paid for all the alcohol. Somebody ended up getting weed. I was on Adderall and we had trashed the hotel. The hotel was threatening us.”
Her Father Made Her Life Difficult
In the documentary, Demi’s best friend tells the camera that the singer’s father “would tell them he had cancer when he didn’t” or that “he was dying tomorrow when he wasn’t.” This kind of behavior led Demi’s parents to divorce.
Demi’s father died in 2013 after a long battle with addiction and alcoholism. Demi says that this broken relationship was what ignited a lot of her own issues with drugs and deception.
She Was A Judge On X Factor In The First Year Of Her Sobriety
McIntyre explained, “what nobody knows is that while she was a judge, she’s living in a sober apartment with roommates. She is having to do chores, she has no cell phone, she is completely and totally submitted to the process of recovery.”
I remember watching that season of X Factor. I had no idea that Demi was fighting off so many demons at the time. She always put on a brave face for the public.
She Credits Music And Her Fans For Keeping Her Alive
Demi’s fans have played a huge role in her recovery. even though media pressure has contributed to her disease, her fans have always been there for her.
“The benefit that I have over some artists is my connection with my fans…I wouldn’t have the career that I have today, I wouldn’t be alive today without my fans, and I want them to be involved in any way they can because they just mean so much to me.”
Living Alone Was Important For Her
It was very important for Demi to be able to stand on her own two feet and take on the world as a strong, independent woman.
She said, “I’m growing up, by myself, and to have my own place designed the way that I want it to look, with my dog… I wanted to know what it’s like to be on my own… and this is where I finally feel like I can be grown up.”
Sorry, Not Sorry
In the documentary, Demi talks about writing her hit song “Sorry, Not Sorry.” There has been a lot of speculation about what the song is about, but Demi said,
“my thoughts are it’s always been about heartbreak or struggles, and when they [the public] think of my music they think it’s heavy. And I just want to break that mold… I feel like coming out with a song that’s fun that I’m passionate about, it just feels right to me. “
She Was On Barney And Friends
Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez both appeared on Barney and Friends in the ’90s. Selena played a character named Gianna, and Demi played a character named Angela.
The two pop stars have been friends since they were seven years old. Demi included a clip in her documentary of her young self playing the trumpet on an episode of Barney. I wish I was this talented when I was like eight years old.
She Spent Time In A Psych Ward
While she was in Palm Springs, Demi Lovato had to be hospitalized after locking herself in her bedroom and swallowing pills. Her manager said, “The nurse is checking her in. The bottle of pills is there, she grabs the pills, she then downs all the other pills and says, ‘You @$#%^ &*!#@! If I just tried to kill myself, why would you give me access to pills?'”
Demi was admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric ward, but she refused to get clean.
She Performed Hungover On American Idol
At her lowest, Demi says she invited two “random people” to her hotel room and got “really, really drunk” with them before a flight.
She said, “I was so drunk, I vomited in the back of the car service on the way to the airport to perform on American Idol.” Her manager remembers her being hungover for the entire performance in 2012. I don’t think anybody watching really knew what was happening at the time.
The Jonas Brothers Tried To Stage An Intervention
Demi Lovato was on tour with the Jonas Brothers when her drug use got out of control. Lovato’s manager Jon Taylor said, “It was actually the Jonas Brothers waving the flag, and saw Demi veering in a different direction.”
Until that point, Nick Jonas thought he was helping Demi take control of her life, even though she was in a complicated relationship with his brother Joe Jonas. He explained, “I was playing the bridge…It became really good between she and I for a while, growing closer than we’ve ever been. I remember thinking in my head I felt a bit of pride about it, like selfishly maybe I was helping her [get] back to being the Demi we know and love.”
She Relapsed After The Film Came Out
In the summer of 2018, nearly a year after Simply Complicated was released, Demi Lovato was hospitalized for an apparent overdose. She was suffering from complications that included vomiting, nausea, and a high fever.
After the incident, Demi took some time off to focus on her health. In her song “Sober,” Demi sings, “I’m sorry for the fans I lost who watched me fall again. I want to be a role model but I’m only human. I’m sorry that I’m here again. I promise I’ll get help.”