Lady Gaga’s performance as Ally in A Star Is Born has arguably been one of her most vulnerable moments yet as an artist, but that Oscar buzz-worthy vulnerability also translates to real life. And Monday night is a perfect example of it.
The actress and singer was honored at Elle‘s Women in Hollywood event, and it was a roller coaster of highs and lows. She officially confirmed her engagement to Christian Carino (a notable high), but also got candid with the audience about her sexual assault, PTSD, and mental illness, which ended with her in tears.
“As a sexual assault survivor by someone in the entertainment industry, as a woman who is still not brave enough to say his name, as a woman who lives with chronic pain, as a woman who was conditioned at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today I wear the pants,” she said, pointing to her oversized Marc Jacobs suit as a way she’s reclaiming her power.
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“After I was assaulted when I was 19 I changed forever. Part of me shut down for many years. I didn’t tell anyone. I avoided it myself. And felt shame even still today standing in front of you. I feel shame for what happened to me. I still have days where I feel like it was my fault. After I shared what happened to me with very powerful men in this industry, nobody helped me,” she said. “No one offered my guidance or a helping hand to lead me to a place where I felt justice, they didn’t even point me in the direction of the mental health assistance I was in dire need of. Those men hid because they were afraid of losing their power. And because they hid, I began to hide.”
She went on to describe being diagnosed with PTSD and Fibromyalgia after years of struggling with her pain alone.
“Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma — these are just a few examples of the forces that can lead to this tornado of pain. So what I would like to say in this room of powerful women and men today is let’s work together to beckon the world towards kindness. I’m fortunate enough now to have the resources to help me. But for many, the resources either don’t exist or people don’t have the ability to pay for or access them,” she said.
“I want to see mental health become a global priority. We’re not able to control all of the challenges and tragedies that life throws our way. But we can work together. This room can work together to heal each other. And we can also try to find the strength in the best way that we can to ask for help if we need it.”
RELATED: Lady Gaga Confirmed She’s Engaged to Christian Carino
It visibly wasn’t easy for Lady Gaga to get these words out, but she had the room’s full support. Jennifer Lopez — who presented Gaga with her award in the first place — made a point to comfort her. Other actresses being honored, including Charlize Theron, also shared the love with Gaga on the red carpet ahead of the evening’s speeches.
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It’s pretty clear who’s wearing the pants now.
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