Although Demi Lovato often speaks candidly about her struggles, there was at least one point in her career when she was less than forthcoming with fans. During her road to recovery, the pop star promoted sobriety while high on drugs.
The shocking revelation came via Lovato’s new documentary, Simply Complicated, which premiered earlier this week on YouTube. The documentary, which takes place over seven months, explores Lovato’s — well — complicated history with substance abuse.
In the documentary, Lovato divulges that she first tried cocaine when she was only 17 and still working for the Disney Channel.
“I loved it. I felt out of control with the coke the first time that I did it,” she said, admitting she ignored her mother’s warnings that the drug could kill her. “My dad was an addict. I guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him and he chose that over a family.”
According to John Taylor, the creative director of Lovato’s management team, it was the Jonas Brothers who initially encouraged Lovato to get help after she punched a backup singer.
Lovato landed in rehab in 2010 — at the time, she was 18. Unfortunately, the pop star wasn’t quite ready to make a change, though, admitting, “I wasn’t working my program. I wasn’t ready to get sober. I was sneaking it on planes, sneaking it in bathrooms, sneaking it through the night. Nobody knew.”
At one point, Lovato even feared for her own life.
“I would sneak out and get drugs, I would take my drug tests with other people’s pee,” she said. “There was one night when I used a bunch of coke and I popped a few Xanax bars, and I began to choke a little bit. My heart started racing, and I thought to myself, ‘Oh my God, I might be overdosing right now.'”
It took Demi’s manager Phil McIntyre issuing a grand ultimatum for Lovato to realize how much she stood to lose by doing drugs.
“We were in New York and she was clearly on something, and she was on air promoting this new way of life, and I was like, ‘You’re so full of it,'” McIntyre recalled. “I worked with everyone on the team — business managers, agents, attorneys, everybody — to say, ‘If Phil walks, we walk.’ This was the showdown of all showdowns.”
And apparently it did the trick. Faced with losing her entire team, Lovato smashed her phone, thus severing her contact to any drug dealers. She then began the real road to recovery, calling that moment the “beginning of the process of surrendering.”
Clearly, Simply Complicated lays Lovato’s life bare. At only 78 minutes, it’s a must-watch for fans of the now-clean and empowered pop star. Watch below!