In an interview on the Howard Stern Show today, Lady Gaga claims to have been raped by a record producer when she was 19.
Stern posed the question to Gaga after she explained the inspiration behind her song “Swine” and her vomit-filled performance of the song at this year’s SXSW:
I wrote a song called ‘Swine.’ The song is about rape. The song is about demoralization. The song is about rage and fury and passion, and I had a lot of pain that I wanted to release. I said to myself, ‘I want to sing this song while I’m ripping hard on a drum kit, and then I want to get on a mechanical bull’—which is probably one of the most demoralizing things that you can put a female on in her underwear—’and I want this chick to throw up on me in front of the world so that I can tell them, you know what? You could never, ever degrade as much as I could degrade myself, and look how beautiful it is when I do.’
She then admits to Stern that she was raped by a producer as a teen, telling the radio host, “I went through some horrific things that I’m able to laugh [at] now, because I’ve gone through a lot of mental and physical therapy and emotional therapy to heal over the years. My music’s been wonderful for me. But, you know, I was a shell of my former self at one point. I was not myself. To be fair, I was about 19. I went to Catholic school and then all this crazy stuff happened, and I was going, ‘Oh, is this just the way adults are?’…I was very naïve.”
Gaga told Stern that she’s resisted talking about her alleged assault for years because she didn’t “want to be defined by it.”
“I’ll be damned if somebody’s gonna say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one dickhead who did that to me,” Gaga said. “I’m going to take responsibility for all my pain looking beautiful. All the things that I’ve made out of my strife, I did that.”
Audio of Gaga detailing her alleged rape to Stern embedded below (other clips from her interview can be heard here):