Lady Gaga's Sad Rape Story Finally Explains Controversial 'Vomit Artist'

Lady Gaga rape

Do you remember when Lady Gaga made headlines for hiring a “vomit artist” to puke on her during a show at SXSW? The woman, whose name is Millie Brown, drank and barfed green milk all over Gaga’s chest before moving on to other colors, which she hurled as the two of them rode a mechanical bull together. Gaga came under fire at the time for supposedly glamorizing bulimia during that bizarre performance, but she’s finally explained the true reason she chose the controversial and messy display: it was to communicate the emotional trauma she went through after being raped as a teenager.


During an interview with Howard Stern on Tuesday, Gaga revealed that she was assaulted when she was younger, and that the incident inspired one of her songs and the performance with Brown:

What I thought was, I wrote a song called 'Swine.' The song is about rape, the song is about demoralization, the song is about rage and fury and passion, and I had a lot of pain that I wanted to release. And I said to myself, I want to sing this song while I'm ripping hard on a drum kit, and then I want to get on a mechanical bull — which is probably one of the most demoralizing things that you could put a female on, you know, in her underwear — and I want this chick to throw up on me in front of the world, so that I can tell them, 'You know what? You could never ever degrade me as much as I can degrade myself, and look how beautiful it is when I do.'

That’s an interesting perspective. I can’t imagine expressing myself in this way, but then again, I am no Lady Gaga.

She went on to try to redirect the conversation to "happy things," but Stern pressed her to discuss it further:

It's a serious topic. When you talk about depression and pain, and you're talking about rape, and you're talking about producers who have done things to you ... You said you barely got into a studio where you weren't in a weird, dangerous situation. I feel like you were raped by someone. I think that's what you're saying.

Gaga responded,

You know, I went through some horrific things. I’m able to laugh now because I've gone through a lot of mental and physical therapy and emotional therapy to heal over the years. My music's been wonderful for me. But, you know, I was a shell of my former self at one point. I was not myself. To be fair, I was about 19 ... I went to Catholic school, and then all this crazy stuff happened, and I was going, 'Oh, is this just the way adults are?'

It happens every day, and it's really scary and it's sad. And you know, it didn't affect me as much right after as it did about four or five years later. It hit me so hard. I was so traumatized by it that I was like, just keep going. I just had to get out of there. (...) I don't want to be defined by it. I’ll be damned if someone is going to say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one d--khead that did that to me. I'm gonna take responsibility for all my pain looking beautiful, and all the things that I've made out of my strife. I did that.

Gaga said the man was 20 years older than her, and that it took her a long time to recover.

I didn't tell anybody. And I didn't even tell myself for the longest time. And then I was like, you know what, all this drinking and all this nonsense, you have to go to the source. Otherwise it just won't go away. It will not go away.

Man, I have to hand it to her — this is a really brave confession. We have all had difficult traumas to deal with, even if they weren’t of this exact nature, and being able to process the pain and become a stronger person for it is commendable.

Even if using a barf artist is kind of gross.

As a strange follow up, Kesha's lawyer Mark Geragos has tweeted a link about the story and asked his followers to "guess who the rapists [sic] was." When one came back with Dr. Luke's name — the producer Kesha is currently suing on allegations of sexual abuse — Geragos wrote, "#bingo."

Gaga's rep says the accusation is "false and defamatory," however.

The Dr. Luke lawsuit is utterly incomprehensible. This simply isn't true and how dare someone take advantage of such a sensitive matter. (...) Luke met Lady Gaga twice for less than half an hour total in those two meetings combined. He has never been alone with her and never touched her. Neither meeting was in that time frame reported.

Ugh. Well, whoever did it is the real monster, never mind what Gaga affectionately calls her fans. Kudos to her for moving on and doing the hard work to survive.

Are you surprised to hear this story from Lady Gaga? Does it help you feel less icky about the vomit artist?

Image via Fuze

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