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Lady Gaga opens up about the biggest tragedy in her rape

Gaga is proving once again that just because she’s famous doesn’t mean she’s out of touch.

Gaga, who is currently starring in Season 5 of American Horror Story on FX, opened up about being raped as a teenager during a TimesTalk session in New York City on Thursday, E! News reports.

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“I didn’t tell anyone for I think seven years,” Gaga explained. “I didn’t know how to think about it. I didn’t know how to accept it. I didn’t know how not to blame myself, or think it [wasn’t] my fault. It was something that really changed my life. It changed who I was completely.”

Gaga first spoke out about the rape in 2014 during an interview with Howard Stern. She is now vocally sharing her experience to hopefully help others in similar situations. Because, as Gaga revealed, it wasn’t just the rape but the aftereffects of the attack that harmed her, both physically and emotionally.

“It changed my body. When you go through a trauma like that, it doesn’t just have the immediate physical ramifications on you,” she revealed. “For many people it [is] almost like trauma. When you re-experience it throughout the years after it, it can trigger patterns in your body of physical distress, so a lot of people suffer from not only mental and emotional pain, but also physical pain of being abused, raped, or traumatized in some type of way.”

Gaga also said she dealt with self-blame over the incident that took her years to overcome.

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“I’m here because when I look out onto the sea of beautiful young faces that I get to sing and dance for, I see a lot of people who have secrets that are killing them,” Gaga said. “We don’t want you to keep your pain inside and let it rot like an old apple on your counter, you know? It’s like, just get rid of all that trash. Let’s get rid of it together.”

Aside from being outspoken in her interviews, Gaga has also professionally partnered with endeavors like the powerful documentary The Hunting Ground about rape on college campuses. Her music video for the song “Til It Happens to You” showcases the emotional problems the documentary reveals.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the sexual assault hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.

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