In October of 2016, 20-something actress/singer Demi Lovato announced a hiatus; a step back from music and the fish bowl lifestyle fame and fortune had brought her. The former Disney Camp Rock star seemed to have it all. She dated Joe Jonas, was adored by her many fans and produced a successful string of hits that had the world crying out for more. But behind the scenes she struggled. Estranged from her father, plagued by addictions to drugs and alcohol and eating disorders, her young adult life became a trainwreck. And like another young singer, one Selena Gomez has done, Demi has now called a time out and backed away from the spotlight. Why? Read on and get the story.
What happened to that fresh-faced teenager that Disney featured as feel good, come- from-behind Mitchie Torres in 2008’s Camp Rock? Well, with fame comes critics. They said she couldn’t act and that she smiled so often that they suspected someone had told her she had a great smile. Not kind. And that’s when it started going seriously downhill for the former child star of Barney and Friends. What did the next eight years bring? A lot of heartache, addictions, nasty rumors, crises, bust ups, a major meltdown in 2010 and on and on. Here are 15 things a now more mature Demi Lovato wants the world to forget.
15. She Punched Her Friend The Backup Dancer
After the success of the Demi/Jonas Brothers formula in 2008’s Camp Rock, a sequel just had to happen. So, in 2010 Camp Rock 2 hit the big screens and a Camp Rock 2 world tour was launched, complete with Demi and the Jonas Brothers Band. Then, suddenly a picture of a backup dancer called “B Girl Shorty” (Alex Welch) made the rounds. So? She had one heck of a shiner, a black eye. And then the story hit: She had been punched in the face by Demi on a tour flight to Peru. An older and wiser Demi later told Elle magazine, “I was completely out of line all summer. Just the worst attitude — totally ungrateful.” Had she been freaked out by her breakup with Joe Jonas? She says not. After the mid-air meltdown, South American fans were told she wouldn’t be performing because of an “illness”. More of that later. The dancer received a “financial settlement” and the problem went away.
14. Those “Bare” Picture Leaks
What happens to a child star that is no longer a child? They grow up living in a kind of social media fish bowl, their every mistake and misstep broadcast for all the world to see. Demi Lovato has had her embarrassing moments. One big one came in 2014, when “those” pictures of Demi and her much older boyfriend, That ’70s Show actor Wilmer Valderrama, were leaked. Said lovebscott.com, there was one “that’s alleged to be Demi wearing leggings and completely topless. Her face isn’t visible in the frame, but her identifiable tattoos are”. Demi didn’t comment, but did post a feisty snap of herself wearing boxing gloves. Alas, while Lovato and Valderrama were all loved up for some six years, they announced over the summer of 2016 that they were splitting. Soon after, she announced she was taking a break.
13. She Had An Affair With Ruby Rose?
Ruby Rose, is the in your face Aussie actress/DJ who shot to fame when she joined the cast of Orange is the New Black in 2015. She played bada** prisoner Stella Carlin for one season. The actress has famously claimed that she and Demi Lovato “slept together”, meaning they went to bed and didn’t get much sleep. Demi’s response was kind of vague. Something about rumors and people claiming all kinds of things. But some say that there are too many “hints” of swinging both ways for there not to be some truth to the rumors. Demi dropped tantalizing hints, but didn’t confirm or deny. There’s more to come on that girl to girl front.
12. That Nip-Slip On Stage
Wardrobe malfunctions happen in the best (and worst) of families. And with Demi, we’ve had many wonderful WM moments. We’ve had sightings of her black undies while performing on Good Morning America. Good morning big-time. We’ve had a black bondage style bikini top at a pool party that was one move away from letting it all hang out. And we’ve had the red carpet side boob that ended up exposing a nipple or two. But our favorite has to be the time in Dallas when the then 22-year-old took to the stage in a tight-fitting dress and she ended up “freeing the nipple” as she bent over to interact with eager fans. Oops, she did it again and again, and again.
11. In The Background There Was A Mean And Abusive Father
The Stay Strong girl’s childhood was not a happy one. At least not until her mother and father were divorced and her troubled father was replaced by a happy and loving step-father. According to Lovato, her father Patrick, was “mean” and “abusive”. She has also said that her father was mentally ill and that his mental illness “made him incapable of raising a family”. With great regret and maybe a little guilt she said of her bipolar father, “He was mean, but he wanted to be a good person”. But he just couldn’t manage it. And when he died of cancer in 2013, her conflicted emotions overflowed and she penned a song called “Father” for her Confident album. Because of her own mental health issues, she could kind of understand. Is it a case of like father, like daughter? Read on and see.
10. More Gender Fluidity For Demi
Now Miley Cyrus is famously “gender fluid”. That’s another way of saying “look at me. I’m a wild child” and very Miley. When media type Ruby Rose claimed she had gone to bed with Lovato in 2013, eyebrows were raised. But when our Demi went onto Andrew Carr’s British chat show Alan Carr: Chatty Man, she came right out and said that her hit song “Cool for the Summer” is about being lesbian. See, Carr had noticed some lyrics about being curious and all and asked her about it. “I’m not confirming and I’m definitely not denying,” she told Carr. She added that all of her songs “are based off of personal experiences”. And openly gay Carr quipped that he had experimented once and it had stuck. It was an interesting interview.
9. Those Awkward Girl On Girl Pics
Well, she may have reached 20-something status in 2012, but that didn’t stop Teen.com going large with the story that kicked off with “You know how they say a picture lasts forever? Well Demi learned that lesson…” when her first raunchy, s*xy pics hit the Internet back then. Seems, yes, they were getting-onto-raunchy shots with another girl and sometimes with several girls. Like totally awkward. Reports are that the pictures were shot while a bunch of Camp Rock female co-stars were clowning around, getting up close and personal (or whatever). And large as life, there was Demi in a bra being all seductive and more than a little kinky. What did her teeny bopper fanbase think? Who knows. But we bet sales of black lacy underwear hit the stratosphere.
8. She Trashed Stuff For Fun
Back a few years ago when Demi was punching backup dancers, she claimed that she liked to throw stuff and trash stuff, especially hotel rooms and dressing rooms. Back then she called it the “most rock ‘n roll thing” that a girl could do. And the girl who sported at least one “Rock ‘n Roll” tattoo and is a mega-KISS and Gene Simmons fan seemed to think (at least back then) that being a rock ‘n roll bad girl was a totally good thing. She told New York’s Z100 radio station, “I’ve trashed dressing rooms just for the hell of it.” And she bragged about throwing lunch meat up in the air until it stuck on the ceiling. That was in the days of out of control drinking and (maybe) drug use. And now? She probably wishes you would forget the whole rock ‘n roll episode. Including that unfortunate tongue selfie with rock icon Simmons.
7. Totally Bizarre Behavior 2010 Style
Disney La-La land, complete with Lovato, the Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez and (OMG) an almost wholesome looking Miley Cyrus. It all looks so Disney and normal. But before she hit rock bottom, Demi had a wild and bizarre 2010. There were tales of parties, drugs and alcohol, as Demi’s behavior seemed to become more and more erratic. One minute she and Selena Gomez were best buds and the next minute Demi was dishing out not so subtle insults. At one point Demi Tweeted that she hated “coat-tail riders”, code, many thought, for Selena Gomez. WTF many said. And even more bizarrely she began dating Joe Jonas, after spending years calling him her “big brother”. Then, wham, around Halloween, she totally deleted her Twitter account. Lovatics were worried. Demi was, literally, all over the place. And only entertainment insiders know the real story.
6. In The Beginning: The Too Bratty Child Star
She was all of 10-years-old when she was chosen for TV’s Barney and Friends. She was the slightly pudgy one in glasses. Even then, she was cutting demo CDs and was making big plans for the big time. Seems some of her school mates were jealous or resentful and reports are that she was bullied almost non-stop. There were hate petitions, CD-bashing parties and school mates would come to her house and stand across the street yelling things in her direction. Some wonder if maybe Demi rubbed their nose in her “talent” just a bit too much. She herself has said she had a totally “bratty” side that may have annoyed her school mates. Whatever happened, the young singer begged her mom to home school her after seventh grade. People magazine reported her saying, “It was a very emotional time for me, and all I wanted to do was get away.” That’s what she tends to do when things get tough.
5. Bulimia And Self-Harming Out Of Control
Relax. This is a still from a 2010 episode of Grey’s Anatomy where Demi play a crazy, self-harming teenager who was trying to convince the crew at the hospital that she was perfectly normal. Meanwhile, back in the real world, Demi was suffering from bulimia and into self-harm and mutilation. The overweight child in her could not accept her body. “There were times I felt so anxious… [that] I cut myself to take my mind off that.” She just did not care what happened. The pain she felt on the inside found expression in the bulimia and in those cuts and abrasions. When the TV episode aired in 2010, she said she was going to make Joe Jonas watch it. He probably didn’t need to, as he was probably living it in real life. She was soon to bottom out and check into rehab.
4. Like Father, Like Daughter: The Nightmare Life
She had put up with an abusive father, who just could not control himself and his emotions. She loved and hated, even resented, him. Then she seemed to be channeling his vibe. For years, Demi went from the highest highs to the lowest lows. One day, she was on top of the world and the next she was down in the dumps. She could not really understand what was going on. Then the diagnosis: She, like her father, suffered from bipolar disorder. In some ways, the diagnosis helped. What used to be called manic depression is a very real disorder that sees sufferers alternating between highs (manias) and lows (depression).
3. From Total Meltdown To Rehab
In 2010, she was out of control, partying, drinking, maybe doing drugs. And it didn’t end there. She was bulimic, self-harming and going from manic highs to desperate lows. Then she punched the dancer on the plane on the way to Peru. Family and friends, worried sick by this time, intervened and convinced the still teenage Lovato to get help. She denied her very public break up with Joe Jonas was to blame, saying that her life was just a total trainwreck. The thing is, though, things seem to have improved since then. She’s taking a one day at a time approach to life. Not perfect. But no more trainwrecks.
2. The Final Straw And The Swift Mash-Up
They were such pals. Or not. Some reports said that when Lovato announced she was taking a break from music a month or so ago, the cause was an unholy row with Taylor Swift and her fans. Now, in the past, Swift sometimes got in the way of Lovato’s friendship with Selena. But in 2016, Lovato spotted a bit of Katy Perry bashing in Taylor’s “Bad Blood” music video. Seems Katy had the nerve to hire some of Tay’s dancers for her own tour in 2013. And the song about the breakup of a friendship seemed to mirror the “Bad Blood” scenario. Besides, we all know that Swift almost always manages to get her bust ups and breakups into song lyric. Remember the “Dear John” kiss-off to John Mayer? And then Demi and Tay had social media words over Kesha and her lawsuit against Dr. Luke. It was a minefield of a case, with Kesha claiming s*xual assault and Dr. Luke suing for defamation.
1. That’s F**ked Up
Now, anyone who gets involved with English media mogul and recording guru Simon Cowell, has, at best, a love/hate kind of thing going on. And when 19-year-old Demi signed on to sit alongside pop star Britney Spears, as a new-blood judge on his show The X-Factor, some saw trouble coming. Cowell commented on how he couldn’t shut Demi up. Demi just smiled. But sometimes she cried. When the show aired a live on-air skit that seemed to make fun of Demi’s demon drinking problem, she pitched one diva fit and told Cowell and the show’s staff that it was totally “f*cked up”. She left after two years on the show.