Demi Lovato on punching her backup dancer: ‘everything happens for a reason’

Demi Lovato at Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated premiere in Los Angeles
As I often mention, I alternately admire and am annoyed by Demi Lovato. She puts out solid pop hits, she has amazing pipes (have you heard her doing “Hallelujah” at the One Voice concert?) and she’s open and honest about her personal struggles. She can be repetitive, but she’s a champion for mental health, eating disorders and addiction issues and she wants to get the message to young people. Demi achieved sobriety five years ago and that’s part of her personal narrative. She has a new documentary out on YouTube today called Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated. You can see the trailer below. The big story about Demi which is featured in the trailer is an incident where she punched a backup dancer in the face on a private plane in 2010 while on tour with the Jonas Brothers. She went to rehab after that but it took another year or so for her to achieve permanent sobriety. That act of violence by Demi was a catalyst for her to change and she probably sees it as the moment when she woke up to the extent of her addictions and bad behavior. It still rubbed me the wrong way she she said, on the red carpet for her film, that she doesn’t regret hitting that other young woman because “everything happens for a reason.” It didn’t just “happen,” you did it! Here’s what Demi told Access Hollywood and you can see the video of this interview on their site.

Why did you decide to open up so much?
My fans know so much about me but I wanted them to see who I am today. I’m a different person today and I wanted them to see that.

I know you talk about this incident on a plane with one of your dancers, a punch happening. I wanted to commend you for taking responsibility for that. How hard was it to talk about it and to accept responsibility?
It’s hard to take responsibility for actions that you kind of not regret, everything happens for a reason so I don’t regret it, but it’s hard you know. I don’t recommend anyone doing it. Everything I’ve been through has shaped me into the person that I am today. It’s unfortunate that that happened but I always take full responsibility for it.

[From video on Access Hollywood]

I dislike it when celebrities characterize their own bad behavior as something that “happened” or something they went through when another person was affected by their actions. It makes sense that Demi would see that moment as the time when she realized she needed to change and started that process. However she can recognize that and still regret hurting someone. I’m disappointed in the way she frames this. That’s mom speak for “Do better next time.” We do see that she’s changed, but she should know better. So many people think of life this way though, that it happened, that their behavior is something they went through, that there’s nothing they can do about it now except be a better person. I guess that can help people move on, I just don’t have a problem saying that I regret things I’ve done.

Oh and Demi recently wished Joe Jonas well on his engagement to Sophie Turner. She made a comment on their Instagram post announcing the engagement that she was “Sooooo happy for the both of you!” and also wrote congrats in all caps. Demi had just broken up with Joe when she had that incident on the plane. In a 2011 interview she denied that her issue that day on the plane was with Joe though and said “I wouldn’t credit my meltdown to a guy. There was so much other stuff in my life.” She’s overcome a lot that’s for sure.


Embed from Getty Images

Demi Lovato at Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated premiere in Los Angeles

Photos credit: Pacific Coast News

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28 Responses to “Demi Lovato on punching her backup dancer: ‘everything happens for a reason’”

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  1. Neelyo says:

    I’d like her voice better if she didn’t feel the need to scream so much. I always feel like she’s about to blow her vocal chords.

  2. Squiggisbig says:

    She has always struck me as a woman who dislikes other women from her rude comments about Olivia Culpo and numerous pop singer beefs. Does not surprise me that she is unapologetic about punching another woman in the face.

  3. HH says:

    I’m trying to give her the benefit of the doubt because she sounds like a callous, self-centered [insert preferred insult here].

    However, maybe she means the person really pissed her off and she should handled it better…?!?! While I haven’t hit someone, I’ve handled something in ways that I wish were different, but don’t regret setting someone straight.

  4. KLO says:

    Well yeah. She learned her lesson and moved on. Next?

  5. Div says:

    Oh Demi, no. Look, I actually understand her point in that even your most horrible actions can shape who you are as a person…but it sounds cold-hearted/self-centered as hell to bring it up in an interview AND if that is her point she should certainly bring up that she brought someone else pain. She either needs to a) ignore that issue or b) straight up address it as a bad moment without adding in the everything happens for a reason/no regrets schtick.

    She’s very talented but her habit of getting into twitter beefs over random things is tiring.

  6. Myhairisfullofsecrets says:

    If she punched me in the face, that would give me a reason to beat the crap out of her in self defense. So sure, Demi Lavato, everything does happen for a reason. Also, what goes around comes around so don’t get upset if something similar happens to you in the future.

    She’s being so dismissive with the “everything happens for a reason” comment.

    • KLO says:

      Haha yeah I get that.

      Makes me wonder if the dancer might have done something terrible to her.
      It is out of character for her to dismiss a thing like punching someone, she usually tries to be super PC. (BTW I know she used to be super addicted to drugs and alcohol and have an ED)

      I might be wrong though.

  7. HelloSunshine says:

    She annoys me. She constantly beefs with other women and then cries feminism when it’s convenient. She’s no better than Taylor Swift on that front. I appreciate speaking up about things you’ve gone through but I feel like she uses her experiences as an excuse to be a mean girl

  8. QueenB says:

    “I always take full responsibility for it. ” I always hear people say that and thats it. Taking full responsibility is not just saying that.

    Also if you and you alone do something its kind of obvious who should take responsibility.

  9. OTHER RENEE says:

    I don’t believe she’s sober.

  10. joanne says:

    her comment about everything happens for a reason is self-serving. there is no acknowledgment of the other person. no concept that she should regret hurting someone even if Demi ultimately benefited from the action. she makes her victim meaningless. she does not say her name or personalize her in any way. the narrative is all Demi and the other girl is just there to benefit her. she is a cold, self centred person.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s what bothered me too – no acknowledgement of the other person. If that incident led to her making changes and being a better person, great…but she can still feel that way AND regret hurting another person.

      She does have a powerful singing voice, but I didn’t particularly like the Hallelujah performance everyone is talking about.

    • Laur says:

      Came here to say the exact same thing. I work with teenagers who’ve committed offences and very often they only think about the impact on themselves and not the victim or others who were affected by their actions. In some ways I can understand their response because they haven’t fully developed that part of the brain that deals with empathy, but she seems to be incredibly focused on the impact on her and only her. Never mind the person she assaulted… Sure they might be fine now, but when you’re in the public eye and a “role model” it’s important to not lose sight of that. When she talks about issues it just seems to be in relation to the impact on her and that’s about it, never about anyone else.

  11. Bridget says:

    It makes me worry when an addict expresses no remorse, as though they’re just a vessel who couldn’t control their actions when they were using. Demi behaved TERRIBLY for a long time, and just because it helped her start her road to sobriety does not mean that she is excused for punching another person in the face.

  12. Nicole says:

    I’m hoping this is just in reference to the consequences and how it woke her up to sobriety. I also think she has made amends with the dancer years ago.
    I agree the language here is problematic. Esp when it comes to narratives surrounding her addiction. Wording is key for narratives

  13. Veronica says:

    “Everything happens for a reason.” Yeah, it’s called you were being an violent a**hole. At least own it and apologize.

  14. Louise177 says:

    I don’t think Demi meant she didn’t care or that it didn’t matter. I think she was glad for a catalyst that made her change her life before it was too late. I don’t know if she gets into more detail about the situation but maybe she did make amends with the dancer and was forgiven.

  15. JA says:

    I was under the impression in order to reach sobriety with any addiction you had to go through certain steps, including forgiveness from those you hurt with your actions…or is that ONLY with 12 steps programs? Point being chica should have apologized and taken responsibility. Everything happens for a, reason logic is bullsh*t and she knows it. Demi can once again fade away… shes beyond exhausting and not worth the effort

  16. I Choose Me says:

    Everything happens for a reason.

    Yeah, she’s an a-hole. I would admire her advocacy for self acceptance more if she didn’t come across as such a self-centered, bullying, ‘cool girl.’

  17. Combat Vet's Girl says:

    This woman is exhausting. I can only imagine the constant drama she subjects others to in her daily life. Doesn’t sound to me like she’s changed much at all.

  18. jferber says:

    I think she’s saying she hit bottom and knew it.