For singer Demi Lovato, Disney is where her career began. But while she gained notoriety on the children’s network, the star doesn’t look back on all of her time there fondly. In her docuseries Dancing with the Devil, out March 23, 2021, Lovato explains one moment she’s kept secret for many years.
Demi Lovato got her start on the Disney Channel
Lovato began acting as a child, appearing in Barney & Friends. As a teenager, she moved to Los Angeles after her then-friend, Selena Gomez, began starring in Wizards of Waverly Place. Lovato acted in the first season of As the Bell Rings before landing her big break in the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock.
The film showed off Lovato’s impressive vocal talents and made her a Disney star in her own right. She put out multiple albums via Disney’s Hollywood Records and reprised her role for the sequel Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. Lovato’s final Disney Channel was her own series, Sonny with a Chance.
She dated Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers
The only thing Disney loves more than having its young stars stick around to work on multiple projects for years is when said performers date one another. This happened quite a bit during Lovato’s era. While Gomez and Miley Cyrus dated Nick Jonas, Lovato began a relationship with his older brother, Joe Jonas.
The pair starred opposite one another as love interests in the Camp Rock movies, and fans couldn’t have adored them together more. Jonas and Lovato spent a lot of time on the road together, too. After months of dating in 2010, they broke up but remained friends for many years.
Lovato revealed she was date raped at 15
In Dancing with the Devil, Lovato spoke about someone she was “hooking up with” when she was 15. “When I was a teenager…I lost my virginity in a rape,” she said (via Yahoo). “I said, ‘This isn’t going any farther.’ That didn’t matter to them; they did it anyways.” Lovato blamed herself at the time.
Like the Jonas Brothers and other Disney Channel stars, Lovato wore a purity ring back then. “I was part of the Disney crowd that publicly said they were waiting until marriage [to have sex],” she continued of the pressure she was under. “Women are typically more oppressed than men, especially at 15 years old and especially as a little child star role model,” Lovato added.
What Disney show was Lovato working on?
Lovato turned 15 in August 2007. This was the beginning of her time appearing on the Disney Channel. As the Bell Rings debuted that month, and she won her roles in Sonny with a Chance and Camp Rock that year. Camp Rock premiered in June 2008, while Sonny with a Chance didn’t debut until February 2009.
Though Lovato didn’t name the person in question, she noted, “I had to see this person all the time.” Meaning it could have been a co-star from any of these TV shows or possibly someone working behind-the-scenes. In any case, the artist no longer blames herself and is ready to help other survivors “speak their voice.”
How to get help: In the U.S., call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
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