Demi Lovato reveals in new YouTube doc that she had 3 strokes and a heart attack
Never one to shy away from the intimate details of her personal life, singer Demi Lovato is laying it on the table in a new documentary, “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil.”
And like hotel heiress Paris Hilton and singer Justin Bieber before her, Lovato’s YouTube Originals release sees the “Barney & Friends” alum readily sharing what really happened when she was in July 2018 and how it left her with brain damage.
“I’ve had so much to say over the past two years, wanting to set the record straight about what it was that happened,” she says in the trailer for the four-part documentary, which debuts March 23. The trailer dropped Wednesday during the virtual Television Critics Assn. press tour.
“FYI, I’m just going to say it all, and if we don’t want to use any of it, we can take it out,” the “Confident” singer adds. “Any time that you suppress a part of yourself, it’s gonna overflow.”
Lovato, 28, who has publicly struggled with her sobriety and physical and mental health, revealed in the trailer that she’d had three strokes and a heart attack. She said her doctors told her she had “five to 10 more minutes” to live when she was hospitalized for two weeks before entering an in-patient rehab facility.
She survived, of course, and told interviewers that, like her cat, she’d had a lot of lives and now she was on her “ninth life.”
In a video call Wednesday, Lovato told the Associated Press that she still was dealing with the effects: “I don’t drive a car because I have blind spots in my vision. For a long time, I had a really hard time reading. It was a big deal when I was able to read a book, which was, like, two months later, because my vision was so blurry.”
But her endurance is surprising to those around her.
“Demi’s very good at making you believe she’s OK,” her stepfather, Eddie De La Garza, says in the trailer.
Lovato has opened up to documentarians before: She was the subject of a 2012 MTV doc and a 2017 YouTube doc, during which she spoke about her addictions to alcohol and cocaine. Her participation, she told AP, kept her sober for six years before the 2018 relapse.
Further ramping up the drama in the series, the singer uses terms like “I crossed a line” and “I snapped” when referring to that period. Every aspect of it and her awakenings in the aftermath are explored in the doc, YouTube said in a statement, promising “unprecedented access to the star’s personal and musical journey during the most trying time of her life as she unearths her prior traumas and discovers the importance of her physical, emotional, and mental health.”
Even interviewees participating in the series — parents, friends and fellow musicians Elton John and Christina Aguilera — are surprised by the candor they’re expected to share on camera. One friend asks the filmmakers, “Are we talking about heroin? Are we doing that?”
The series, directed and executive produced by Michael D. Ratner (“Justin Bieber: Seasons”), also explores how Lovato is harnessing her power and rebirth, and touches on her short-lived engagement to Max Ehrich that ended in September. The trailer also previews her single “Dancing With the Devil” and chronicles her recent decision to cut off most of her hair last November.
“I’m not living my life for other people or their headlines or their Twitter comments,” she said.