People: Demi Lovato ‘never wanted to be a role model… has a rebellious personality’

The last we heard about Demi Lovato she was quite ill in hospital and no decisions had been made yet as to whether she would seek additional treatment following her release. She suffered an overdose last week and it’s been reported that things are very much up in the air regarding her medical condition and decisions. In fact sources told TMZ that they weren’t even sure “where her head is at.” So it seems premature for her to cover People magazine, but she is. Demi has spoken and posted to social media repeatedly about her sobriety, about her stay in rehab and about her own rock bottom before this relapse. However People’s source claims that she did not want to be a role model and that her sobriety “was a fight every single day.” They also report that Demi’s team controlled her and insinuate that she was lashing out against that.

The singer, 25, has proudly — and publicly — celebrated her sobriety milestones over the last six years, but a longtime friend tells PEOPLE exclusively Lovato struggled privately with the pressure to remain clean.

“Demi never wanted to be a role model. Her sobriety over the last six years was a fight every single day,” says the friend. “After she finally got clean, her team was very hard on her and treated her like she was a kid. It’s so hard to have all these eyes on you all the time.”

Over the last year, Lovato yearned for more freedom and “slowly started breaking away” from her tightly regulated life.

“She is so young and she also has a very rebellious personality,” says the source. “She wasn’t drinking or using at first, but she’s even said herself that she can’t be in a [party] environment. She thought she could handle it, but it’s a very slippery slope.”

Sources told PEOPLE on Monday she is expected to make a “full recovery,” but that decisions in terms of treatment had not yet been made.

“It’s too soon to say what the next steps are in terms of entering treatment,” a source close to Lovato told PEOPLE. “Right now everyone is focused on getting Demi physically healthy.”

[From People]

It feels like Demi’s team is behind this cover and that it could have waited until she was further along in her recovery. Give her a minute to get better and make her own decisions regarding her next steps, you know? While this may be her PR rep’s narrative and not coming from Demi herself, this whole situation just brings it home how insidious addiction can be. People has a follow-up story with more quotes about Demi, her career and her sobriety. I’ll include the new quotes as well as some telling excerpts from her documentary on YouTube, Simply Complicated, that People uses as well.

[When her career took off at 15] “She was very young, very fragile. The schedule was so intense,” a former member of the star’s inner circle tells PEOPLE exclusively about her rise to fame. “Demi never had a day off. She had to put in 16 hours on set, then go on tour, then record, then do press. She was exhausted.”

“One of the challenges was the balance of power in the family,” says a source who previously worked with Lovato. “When you’re supporting the family, you have all the power at 15.”

Lovato was already abusing substances in high school and was introduced to cocaine at age 17. “I felt out of control the first time I did it,” said Lovato, who had a dysfunctional relationship with her birth father Patrick (he died in 2013 from cancer). “My dad was an addict and an alcoholic. Guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him and he chose that over a family.”

“To save her life, you have to stop her career. Demi needs years of therapy,” says the former member of her circle. “She has enough money. She’s extremely talented. Right now her health and her life are at stake.”

[From People]

The latest from TMZ is that Demi is doing better and that she’s due to leave the hospital this week, thankfully, but that she hasn’t made a decision about rehab yet. Members of her team have allegedly threatened to quit if she doesn’t go into treatment. A source tells them “She could die if she doesn’t [go to rehab], and that’s not going to be on my watch that we did nothing.” It’s thought that she’s headed that way after several months of using and this wakeup call. I hope that she recovers soon, that she embraces sobriety again, and that it’s her decision to do that.




photos credit: People and WENN

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24 Responses to “People: Demi Lovato ‘never wanted to be a role model… has a rebellious personality’”

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  1. Ramona Q. says:

    This is so insightful. I’m glad she has this understanding of herself: “My dad was an addict and an alcoholic. Guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him and he chose that over a family.”

  2. Jane says:

    I feel we need to leave her in whatever peace she can find in order for her to start healing. I just hope she has loving, caring people around her in the future to get her through this. I’d hate to hear she has another set back that in turn could end her life. My heart goes out to her. She must be in such a difficult place right now.

  3. corrine says:

    same hollywood story, different teen star

    • Jane says:

      Didnt want to be a role model lol she made her addictions and mental health a second career

    • Anna says:

      I don’t think it’s an accident that so many celebrities (particularly the ones who started young) have mental health and addiction issues. That’s got to be such a difficult and toxic environment. Didn’t she a,so suffer from an eating disorder? Either way, I hope she chooses back burner her career and focus on getting healthy and sober.

  4. Jen says:

    The sad thing is forcing someone into treatment or threatening to leave unless they do really doesn’t work. It is so hard to watch someone you love continue on that path, but it really has to be the person in question’s choice to seek treatment and sobriety. I hope she does.

    • MeghanNotMarkle says:

      This. If an addict isn’t ready to go then no number of threats or demands is going to suddenly make them ready. Detachment and No Contact are fantastic for the family members and friends to find their peace without being dragged into hell with the addict but should never be used as a behavior modification tool. Tell the addict you love them and you’ll be there when *they* are ready but don’t ever threaten them with your leaving like you are the pillar holding them up. None of us is that powerful.

  5. Bridget says:

    Demi didn’t want to be sober but she did want a career – her first rehab stint came after a very long stretch of her behaving badly and it was her only choice if she wanted a prayer of keeping her career. At the time, she had a reputation as being one of the worst people to work with, and then of course she had a spectacular, public incident when she punched her dancer. Demi at least understood enough that she needed to make a change, but it was transactional: if I want to continue working, I have to at least pay lip service to the sobriety thing. And this isn’t how you get sober. No one and no thing can do that for an addict: it has to come from within. Those comments – “they treated her like a child” – show that there was a disconnect and that Demi still didn’t ‘get’ it. She is talented, and she hustled incredibly hard to be taken seriously in music, but this life is going to kill her.

    • jwoolman says:

      The parents of the Jonas Brothers wouldn’t let Demi continue on the tour after she slugged the dancer. They’re the ones to credit with getting her on that plane to go home. They were always very protective of their own kids. They were musicians themselves and did their best to keep a normal family life (including parental supervision) even when the kids were touring.

      I don’t think Demi had anyone really looking out for her in her family.

      • Bridget says:

        As others noted, family dynamics get completely screwed up when the kid is the one bringing in the $$$.

  6. HeyThere! says:

    She needs to step away from Hollywood. Get in a long term treatment center. Save yourself, Demi. You are the only one that can. She is so talented and beautiful. I just hate that anyone has to deal with addiction. I’m actually crying a little typing this, as I know so many people dealing with sobriety, and finding a new normal. I hope she’s strong enough to make the hard decisions she needs to make.

  7. Whattajabroni says:

    Do these people realize that saying “I don’t want to be a role model” sounds incredibly selfish? “Like, I wanna be famous but have no personal accountability. ” whether they like it or not kids look up to them. Kids arent just going to look to their parents for inspiration. They are going to want to be a famous singer like Britney or an Athlete like Jordan or an Actor like The’s a small price to pay for being famous. You don’t want to be a role model? Become an accountant.

    • corrine says:

      Exactly! It’s the same as the Kardashians getting all upset when they get negative feedback online. They pimp themselves out and they only want to hear how gorgeous they are (even though they are not).

    • Kate says:

      “Lovato struggled privately with the pressure to remain clean. ‘Demi never wanted to be a role model. Her sobriety over the last six years was a fight every single day,” I think they are saying that she didn’t want to be a role model for sobriety because she didn’t feel like she had it under control.

      I agree with you if she was just a famous person saying oh I don’t want to be a role model, that does seem selfish because it’s a part of the job. It’s human nature for people to look at other people and judge them and either want to be like them or not, so by entering the public eye and asking for the benefits of fame and people liking you, you are signing up for that responsibility and burden. BUT, she is dealing with addiction and that isn’t about being selfish it’s mental illness.

      I can’t imagine how hard it must be recovering from addiction for the benefit of yourself and your loved ones. I’m sure recovery statistics speak to how difficult that is. And to compound that difficulty by adding pressure from 70 million (wtf?!) followers on social media who you are afraid to let down or lose must make it infinitely more difficult. I think it’s too easy for us regular people to judge rich/famous people and say “it must be nice to have rich people problems” but you really can’t rate problems. Or I should say, it’s never helpful to someone in pain to say well it could be worse, look at everything you have you should be grateful you shouldn’t be hurting. It just doesn’t work like that.

      • Anna says:

        Arguably addiction IS selfish. I’m not saying it’s by choice, but addicts are very selfish by nature of the condition.

    • jwoolman says:

      I don’t blame her for not wanting to be a role model. I never once thought of an entertainer as my “role model”. That’s not their job. Same with professional athletes or actors etc. Don’t burden them with being your kids’ “role models”. The whole idea is stupid.

  8. Miss Margo says:

    I think the issue with Demi is she’s a narcissist. That’s the vibe I get from her interviews and that doc on YouTube.

  9. Oh-Dear says:

    Her dancers and other employees having been spatting on twitter, accusing each other of setting her up, not caring about her or caring too much, and so on. It gives some insight into how dysfunctional her life is.

  10. Happy21 says:

    I didn’t want to be a role model so I’ll just be an addict.
    Girl you make tween pop music, you will be a role model whether you want to be or not. She never seemed uncomfortable talking openly about her demons. She had to know her young fans would be listening.

  11. paddingtonjr says:

    I feel for Demi. Sadly, when a child becomes the breadwinner, they become the “adult” in the family and no one wants to upset the dynamic. Yet, the child is still a child with all the insecurities and immaturity of being a kid/teenager. Add to that a difficult relationship with her father and a need to understand why he chose drugs over the family and her need to escape is understandable. I hope she takes some time off, focuses on her recovery and then worry about her future plans.

  12. Socks says:

    To me it sounds like she was never really sober. She might of abstained from drugs and alcohol for awhile, but when someone really wants to get sober and stay sober after some time it’s not an everyday struggle to not use. Addiction and celebrity is just such an awful mix. It’s lik they pick and choose which 12 steps they want to do and call it a day!

  13. Melanie says:

    I don’t believe her. Part of this may be true, but everything, especially astrologically, points to her riding this wave for all it’s worth. Who knows what she wants? This is large manufactured.