28-year-old singer Demi Lovato has revealed that a drug overdose in 2018 left her minutes away from death and led to three strokes, a heart attack and brain damage.
Lovato spoke to the media ahead of the launch of her new documentary, Dancing with the Devil, and revealed details of her struggles over the past few years that were not previously public knowledge.
She said: “I had three strokes. I had a heart attack. My doctors said that I had five to 10 more minutes.”
The former Disney Channel child star has spoken openly about her addiction to drugs and alcohol in the past, but said there was still a lot for the wider world to learn about her overdose.
In 2018, Lovato was found unconscious in her Hollywood address after overdosing on a reported mix of opioids and fentanyl. A few weeks prior she had released a song called Sober in which she spoke of relapsing after a period of sobriety of six years.
Speaking on Wednesday, the singer, actor and director said: “For the past couple of years, I have heard a lot of stories about my life and what people think has happened. I wanted to set the record straight and reveal it all for my fans.”
She added that she “was left with brain damage and I still feel the effects of that” – and that she now does not drive and can find reading difficult due to blurry vision.
Lovato has previously revealed that she started taking cocaine at the age of 17 and was first sent into rehab when she was 18, to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The 28-year-old has also spoken about her struggles with eating disorders over the years.
Lovato’s latest documentary will include her talking through her past traumas, as well as revealing the strains and pressure of the entertainment industry. Dancing with the Devil is due to be released on YouTube on 23 March.
Following her overdose, Lovato made her comeback at the Grammy Awards show in January 2020, and she is now a spokesperson for the mental health app Talkspace.
Elsewhere in the world of entertainment, Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Nicholas Brendon has weighed in on Charisma Carpenter’s recent claims against the show’s creator Joss Whedon.
Carpenter claimed recently on social media that Whedon had created a ‘hostile and toxic work environment’, called her ‘fat’ while she was pregnant and later unceremoniously fired her from the role of Cordelia.
Carpenter’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer co-star Nicholas Brendon said he “supports” Charisma Carpenter’s recent claims that the show’s creator Joss Whedon created “hostile and toxic work environments” – but also says he “loves” them both.
The 49-year-old actor is the latest Buffy The Vampire Slayer star to step into the growing controversy around Whedon’s alleged “misconduct”.
He said: “I mean, unless you know Joss, it’s just kinda, like… Out of this I just hope that growth comes, and healing, and then being a better person and a better people.
“Because I think that’s what every day is about. You know what I mean? Not beating somebody up.
“I mean, were there transgressions? Yeah, there were. To me as well, you know what I mean?
“It’s like, I had my relationship with Joss as well. And I love him. You take, you know… for me, I took the good, I took the bad… but that’s not everybody.”
He added: “I love and support [Carpenter] very much and I know that story, and it’s not a kind story.”
Writing on Instagram, Carpenter initially said: “Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and [spin-off] Angel.
“While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers.
“The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer.
“It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively.”
Sarah Michelle Geller, who played the title role in the show, responded to the claims on her Instagram page, saying: “While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon.
“I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently, so I will not be making any further statements at this time.
“But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.”
56-year-old Joss Whedon, who also created the show Firefly and has directed two of the Avengers films, was approached for comment on the matter by Sky News, but a representative was only able to reply that they had no response to the allegation.