Demi Lovato: ‘Barney could be a little codependent. I was suicidal. I was 7′

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato covers the August issue of Cosmo magazine, and the cover itself is typical Cosmo style — gaudy colors, cleavage, and the effects of a wind machine. Demi looks good even though I’m still trying to get used to her as a blonde, but those bird tattoos flying up her forearm are … kind of tacky, right? I don’t have any problem with tattoos in general, and Demi’s other tattoos are fine, but those birds? Awful.

Naturally, the interview gets into Demi’s struggles with her recovery, and she hints that she won’t reveal some painful secrets from her past. I know some of you think Demi is full of crap with her recovery talk and rah-rah attitude, but she’s really kept it together ever since going on “X-Factor.” I think there’s something to be said about working with Simon Cowell on a regular basis without having a public meltdown. Demi will turn 21 years old in August and says that she won’t be partying and getting drunk although she’ll miss it. Here are some excerpts:

On her new chapter in life: “It’s a new beginning for me. A year and a half ago, I was frustrated. I was like, there are people on the radio and they’re not even singing — it’s all Auto-Tuned, and I know I can sing. It’s taken me three albums to figure out what works for me.”

On her “stay strong” wrist tattoos: “I got them in North Hollywood, right after I got out of treatment [in 2011]. I thought, there’s no better place for a former cutter to get a tattoo than on a place where they used to self harm.”

She has faith: “I’m not super religious, but I grew up Christian and I believe in God. When I’m in L.A., I don’t talk about it that much because people are very judgmental, but I just feel like God gave me a voice, not just to sing with. He put me through those things, which seemed horrible at the time, but they were so worth it. With the obstacles I’ve overcome, I can help people.”

She wanted to be a child star: “I remember reading about Shirley Temple and looking up at God and being like, Okay, I’m 5. I’m ready.”

On starring on “Barney & Friends”: “Barney could be a little codependent. At the time, I was just so grateful to be on TV, but I was really struggling. Looking back, there was a connection, probably between any kid who’s ever sang that song to Barney, a little place in a child’s heart, a void, that could be filled. And maybe Barney fills it. Even before Barney, I was suicideal. I was 7. With Barney, I guess subliminally, I did have a relationship with this figure that was saving my life in a way.”

Her past is worse than we know: “I’ve talked about being bullied and the years of being a teenager, but I went through things when I was younger that I’ve never talked about that probably caused me to turn out the way I ended up turning out. My family knows what it’s about. When I’m ready to open up that subject with the outside world, then I’ll be free to talk about it. Bur right now, it’s kind of one of those things where the lyrics [of "Warrior"] speak for me. It’s all in the song.”

Let’s talk about Wilmer Valderrama: “If I’m dating someone, you may see me out, but until I’m marriage-serious, I probably won’t walk the red carpet with anyone.”

[From Cosmopolitan]

Hmm. Demi is semi-mysteriously alluding to something traumatic in her past, but she claims her lyrics will reveal all for those who are curious. In “Warrior,” Demi sings, “There’s a part of me I can’t get back / A little girl grew up too fast,” so I am guessing that she’s speaking of childhood abuse at the hands of a (supposedly) trusted adult. Sad.

Even more sadly, Demi’s father has recently passed away, and she attended the funeral this past weekend. In the aftermath, Demi has established the Lovato Treatment Scholarship, and she states that “My father dealt with mental illnesses and he wasn’t able to function in society and that happens to a lot of people. There’s an overwhelming sense of peace knowing my dad is no longer battling his demons anymore and that makes me so happy.” Hopefully, this scholarship will do some good.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato

Photos courtesy of Cosmo

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54 Responses to “Demi Lovato: ‘Barney could be a little codependent. I was suicidal. I was 7′”

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  1. gorda says:

    Doesn’t this girl have anything interesting to talk about except her problems. So over it.

    • Samigirl says:

      You may not like it, but it really helps kids who are struggling with similar issues to see someone they look up to talk about it. I would rather someone who is considered (like it or not) a role model to be vocal instead of keeping it to herself. As someone who suffers from BPD, depression, and anxiety so bad my hair will fall out, I know the toll it takes on one to keep it to yourself. So, good on Demi for talking about it. It’s much healthier that way.

    • Lillith says:


      Thats hardly fair. For afew years all anyone wrote about was her problems. Now that shes beaten/beating her demons, it makes perfect sense that we discuss that turn around.

      Besides, theres a good chance that her speaking out will strengthen another young person in crisis. In any case, rather hear about a recovery than the dozens of Disney collapses we constantly read about (hint:Miley).

      Side eyeing that talent comment though. She has some generic pop song on high rotation now that makes me want to jump out the window.

      • Stef Leppard says:

        “She has some generic pop song on high rotation now that makes me want to jump out the window.”

        Agreed! I find her voice to be so grating!

        But on the demons topic: I think it’s probably very good for her and her young fans that she speaks out so much about her problems and recovery. Children need to know there’s no shame in getting help for your problems, especially major ones like she had/has.

      • blaize says:

        “the dozens of Disney collapses that we constantly hear about (hint: Miley)

        Do you really think that a young pop star experimenting with different looks and smoking weed is a ‘collapse’ or a breakdown? To me it makes her no different from Madonna or Lady Gaga.

    • MCraw says:

      Suicidal at 7 tho?

      I’m flabbergasted.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I had some pretty bad stuff going on as a child and felt suicidal on and off. I started self harming at 5. It happens, unfortunately. And +1 to Samigirl – I also have BPD, and it is very refreshing to see someone speak about issues like this in a level headed way. Gives young girls hope if they are in similar situations.

    • Eleonor says:

      She doesn’t only “talk”, the scholarship is a very beautiful thing.
      We usually bash celebrities for being vapid, and selfish, she is talking about some serious issues, and doing something to help other persons. It deserves respect.

    • marie says:

      don’t you have anything interesting to say about a person who is courageous enough to talk about her problem? do you know the amount of people who commit suicide because they are afraid of getting help?

    • paranormalgirl says:

      Her talking about her issues and recovery serves a purpose. If it makes just one kid feel like “hey, I’m not alone,” it did something good.

    • lisa says:


      she is like a reality star in that without her problems, she has nothing to offer

  2. Agnetha says:

    I always knew there was something creepy about Barney!

  3. Elle says:

    I think it’s great she’s talking about her problems. She helping herself and other young people suffering with similar problems at the same time.

    I’ve only seen her in a couple of interviews. She comes across as mature and a sweet girl.

  4. Naye in VA says:

    That pic where she is holding her hair up…she would look great with a short cut. It would really balance her face.

  5. Annie says:

    Man, Demi has serious, serious issues. Suicidal at age 7? She picked the worst profession. It’s going to play a huge role in her breaking down all the time. It already has.

  6. some bitch says:

    I am so sick of hearing this phony whine about her non-issues.

  7. doofus says:

    I’ll give her credit for trying hard to keep herself clean, especially in a business that (pardon the cliche) chews up child stars, especially female ones.

    She seems to be truly trying to stay healthy and work, unlike others in her situation who do nothing but give lip service to “recovery” (coughLohancough).

    and if her talking about it helps even one young woman, she can talk about it ALL SHE WANTS.

  8. videli says:

    I know close to zero about Demi Lovato, but based on this interview, she carries herself well, or at least she tries. It seems there’s a lot of sincerity in her words about her father, rather heartbreaking also.

  9. Jess says:

    There are ALOT of stories out there about her that say that this is all just a front and she is still a huge mess. Further into drugs than ever. Addicts are always the best liars. Being famous seems hard, and with her father dying im sure its going to bring up more pain.Im really glad that she is talking about her issues because it does help other kid identify with thier own problems but if she isnt true to herself, and i really dont think she is, she is going to be dead at 25.

  10. HH says:

    She sounds like she’s had a heartbreaking life. Suicidal at 7?! That’s just scary. The only thing I had to give a side-eye to was her comment about her talent. I don’t think she’s THAT good. That “Heart Attack” makes me want to jump out of a moving vehicle every time I hear it.

  11. TheOneAndOnly says:

    Oh for the 80s/90s when they put real supermodels on the cover, not overexposed Disney kids; Cosmo and other mags are so down market;
    Also, I believe we’re missing the point here – while her personal travails merit sympathy, if they are genuine, she’s made millions off her music- and it’s generic pop drivel – I get the feeling she’s using her personal travails to sell her image/music; But if you’re music/art is good, it can stand on it’s own; plenty of greats (rock,soul,motown) from the 50s-70s led harder lives than this girl (growing up in the segregated south, for ex.), but their music is memorable,great, and played everywhere – if this disney kid’s music was memorable, she wouldn’t need to advertise her personal life so much. Remember, this is the twit that said she was going to make real music with real instruments – I guess i misunderstood what the Beatles and Chuck Berry were doing.

  12. Samtha says:

    I like Demi. She seems to be working hard to change her life. (Until there’s actually proof that she’s fallen off the wagon, rumors are just that–rumors.)

    Speaking out the way she does is a GOOD thing. My stepdaughter came to me and her father about getting help for her depression and cutting after reading one of Demi’s interviews, so I’ll always root for her, for that alone.

    Her new CD is a pretty good pop album. She DOES have more singing range than other pop stars out there right now (Selena, Miley, etc). I took my stepdaughter to one of Demi’s concerts, and she actually sings live, no lip syncing.

    • Mrs. O says:

      That’s really amazing that your stepdaughter was inspired to disclose her struggles. I’m sorry your family had to go through that and think it is a testament to your good parenting that your stepdaughter felt comfortable confiding in you. Hope everything is going okay now.

    • steph o says:

      That’s really amazing that your stepdaughter was inspired to disclose her struggles. I’m sorry your family had to go through that and think it is a testament to your good parenting that your stepdaughter felt comfortable confiding in you. Hope everything is going okay now.

  13. Zigggy says:

    I was thinking the bird tattoos were cool..

    • claire says:

      I like them too. If the cross wasn’t there it would all look a lot better. Not that I have anything against crosses, but I don’t like this particular tattoo of it or it’s placement.

    • Barhey says:

      I think whoever did them did a good job, but a small flock of birds, sideways crosses and words like “faith” or “paradise” have kind of been done to death. Type in ‘small tattoo’ on Pinterest and you’ll see what I mean.

      I think people have a higher chance of not regretting tattoos if they’re more personalized

  14. Asdfg says:

    What’s with all the tip-toeing around the subject? She seems ready to confront her problems yet she’s leaving her fans to “figure it out” for themselves? You lay out your problems in lyrics and expect the world to decode and gossip about what the lyrics could mean? Hmmm, wouldn’t that cause more GOSSIP and stress to someone who at the age of 7 was suicidal?

    Maybe Demi is stronger than we thought?

    It is good she’s talking about her troubles. I admit she gets on my nerves sooo bad but no one deserves to “grow up too fast” or be abused.

  15. Shauna says:

    I just really like this girl. I think she’s been through a tough time in life and is as positive of a role model as we’re gonna get from the Disney kids. She seems smart, funny and sassy. I wish her only good things.

  16. paris hilton says:

    Don’t know who shie is, never heard her music, doesn’t look familiar. But the SUPER annoying part is the “something bad happened I can’t talk about.” Attentionseeking!
    If you didn’t want to talk about it, you wouldn’t make references to it or talk about it.

    • Angie says:

      Im not going to lie, Ive been rooting for this girl from the moment i first heard skyscraper. But even if I didnt know who she was some of these comments would have me shaking my head.

      It seems like she’s approaching a point where she is ready to explore those feelings in her music, like in Warrior, and as an artist that’s expected and natural. She’s also saying, Im not ready to really ‘delve’ into by talking about it frankly with the world. We dont need the gritty details. But with warrior and with how frank she has been known to be about her struggles that disclaimer IS kind of needed. It’s enough just to know the emotion behind those lyrics. It’s heartbreaking, to me.

      I don’t think she is being attention seeking. She’s healing and decided to open a bit about that part of her suffering that led to what we know about her troubles, in her music (–as for that, i suspect her label is letting her do more heartfelt ballads after the success of skyscraper, but theyre only letting her dip a toe in, iykwim. all of those catchy (terrible) pop songs otherwise seem more of a measure to ensure she stays on the pop radar while they let her sink or swim with this other image she has with skyskraper and warrior. Which I do feel is much more ‘her’). If you want to know what kind of artist someone is, look to that body of work, not the contrived bs their labels force them all to put out as a fail-safe. Maybe it’s not your cup of tea but you can’t deny those songs have some substance.

      Anyway, calling someone with very clear psychological damage as she has ‘attention-seeking’ will always be an a**hole move, imo. Always.

    • Shannon says:

      Obviously you’ve never been to such a dark place that you couldn’t talk about it for years. I assure you, sexual abuse is not something you just suddenly talk openly about. It took me 5 years to even admit to myself that I was raped when I was 15.

      Judging someone who has been through this kind of trauma for being “attention-seeking” when they aren’t quite at the point where they can speak publicly about what happened without falling apart is pretty low. People who have been through this stuff have already felt so ashamed as it is. Who are you, exactly, to be a fucking bitch to anyone who finally has the courage to make the big step and start to talk about it?

      • Leen says:

        Thank you. Sexual abuse is no joke and some people don’t understand it’s not a subject you can open up about or deal with that easily. I’m so sorry to hear that Shannon, I’ve been sexually abused as well and even 10 years later, I still struggle to open up about it to my close friends and family. So I really don’t blame Demi for not wanting to open up yet or hesitant.
        I have a soft spot for Demi, I wish she was around when I was younger.

  17. jess says:

    ” I was like, there are people on the radio and they’re not even singing — it’s all Auto-Tuned, and I know I can sing.”

    I’m sorry honey, but you really can’t sing. Yeah…you can yell loudly and there is some power behind your voice, but very rarely both in pitch and in tune. And you, without a doubt, have abused autotune as well.


    • Barhey says:

      That one song she put out (because lets be real she only needs to release a song like once a year to stay relevant ala Miley) is probably the single WORST song I have ever heard.

      I love mindless pop songs too, so it’s not even a genre thing. He weird screeching and inane lyrics drive me up the wall.

    • blaize says:

      She has used auto-tune, but she doesn’t use too much. I think she can sing. She has many songs on her last album and her newest album where she sounds really good, and I liked her live performances of Skyscraper, Fix a heart, and Angels Among us.

  18. Abby says:

    Her statement about her dad hits a little too close to home over here in my world.

    I can’t imagine what she went through as a child, but hollywood can’t have been a good fix for that. I hope she stays strong and continues getting help.

  19. Dommy Dearest says:

    This girl needs to go somewhere too.

  20. Jennifer12 says:

    I just don’t get a healthy sense from this woman.

  21. Original Me says:

    She seems way too fragile. Good luck in Hollywood, babe.
    Sorry, but her song Skyscraper makes me want to jump off of one. Scream singing and cliched repetitive lyrics don’t appeal to me.
    How did her father die?

  22. Nyle says:

    I am NOT sentimental about celebrities, and even the big wigs who go on and on about how much they’re doing to help the world, blah blah blah…it just makes me roll my eyes. So transparent. But I’m about ready to cry reading this. This beautiful girl is so obviously honest. Painfully so. I really do get the feeling that she’s not selling this to me to get me to like her or her music (which I really can’t handle, bytheway). She’s realistic and open, charming without guile and refreshingly normal. I can’t help but wish her well. And hopefully her fans will see how relatable she is in her struggles and feel comforted. The world needs good.