Demi Lovato says eating disorder and 'controlling' team led to overdose

Demi Lovato/Instagram

Demi Lovato has been through a lot, but it seems as if she's finally coming out on the other side. The singer sat down for a candid interview on The Ellen Show, which aired on Thursday, March 5, where she spoke about her new music, her relapse with alcohol and drugs, as well as her eating disorder. She revealed that a lot of her issues stemmed from feeling "unhappy" because she was being controlled by her former management team, which didn't support her in journey to healing in the way that she needed.

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"Today I got to see my dear friend @theellenshow. I was lucky enough to sit with her and share my story from over the past year and a half. I was so emotional I cried when I walked off stage," she captioned a video she shared of herself with Ellen DeGeneres on Instagram. "Thank you Ellen for providing me a platform to speak my truth. Love you always and I'm so grateful for our chat today 💕 The journey continues Friday 💗."

Ellen DeGeneres revealed a disturbing fact about Demi's former team.

The daytime TV talk show host started the interview, which aired on Thursday, March 5, by sharing with the audience that in the previous nine times that Demi had been a guest on the show, there were a group of people from the singer's management team that headed to the studio and made sure there was no sugar in sight before Demi arrived. The star said she didn't know this happened, but shared anecdotes of her own experience with her team who tried to control what she ate, even though they knew she was struggling with an eating disorder and had issues with food in the past. She recalled that for years she had received a watermelon cake for her birthday with fat-free whipped cream, instead of a real cake. 


Demi then revealed what really caused her to relapse.

Demi revealed that a falling out with her former team led her to relapse after being sober for quite some time but she takes responsibility for the choices she made that led to her 2018 overdose. "I got sober at 19, I wasn't even legally allowed to drink. I got the help I needed at the time and I took the approach of a one size fits all solution, which is sobriety," she said, and was able to stay sober for six years with her team keeping tabs on her. "It worked for a long time, but I realized that over time, as the things with the eating disorder were getting bad, over the years it progressively got worse with people checking what my orders at Starbucks were on my bank statements. Little things like that led me to being really, really unhappy. My bulimia got really bad and I asked for help and I didn't received the help that I needed and so I was stuck in this unhappy position."

This led her to question why she was so unhappy even though she was sober. "I'm even more miserable than I was when I was drinking, why am I sober?" she asked herself. When she communicated that to her team, they told her she was being "selfish" claiming that she was going to ruin things for herself and for them and ended up severing their relationship. "My core issues are abandonment from my birth father as a child. He was an addict, alcoholic, and I have vivid memories of him leaving. When they left, they totally played on that fear and I felt completely abandoned so I drank. That night I went to a party and there was other stuff there and there were only three months before I ended up in the hospital with an OD. Ultimately, I made the decisions that got me to where I am today, it was my actions that put me in the positions that I'm in and I think it's important that I sit here on this stage and I tell you at home, you in the audience, that if you go through this, you yourself can get through it."  


Demi's new management is more focused on making her happy.

Demi is now being managed by Scooter Braun, who also manages stars like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. Demi shared the videos of her birthday celebration on Instagram in August 2019, and alluded to the importance of the cake. "Only few know how much this cake means to me....thank you @scooterbraun .. so grateful," she captioned a post at the time. She added another one writing: "Okay, last one before bed. They literally filmed/sang happy birthday twice and @scooterbraun STILL forgot to press record 😂 @arianagrande’s face is everything and this video is a perfect glimpse of how happy and rad my birthday is this year. So so happy. And I love my new family. Thank you guys, love you 🙏🏼🙌🏼." 

The singer now has better people by her side.

For someone in recovery like her, having supportive people around you to allow you to be yourself and hold you up when you are feeling vulnerable is key. A strong community and supportive team is important so that the person doesn't feel alone and doesn't feel the pressure to not disappoint those around her. People like Demi need to know that there are people on their team who have their back through anything.


Demi is getting ready to restart her career.

The Grammy nominee is looking to pick up right where she left off before her overdose in July 2018. She made an appearance performing at the Grammys in January and sang the national anthem at the 2020 Super Bowl. She is readying the release of a new song titled "I Love Me," which she says is an empowering anthem that reminds herself and others that they don't need anything external--be it other people or substances--to be good, they are perfect just as they are.