Some of Lady Gaga’s Family Didn’t Know About Her Rape Until They Saw Her Oscars Performance
Lady Gaga took to the Oscars stage on Sunday to give a knockout performance of her song “Til It Happens to You,” which she co-wrote with Diane Warren for the 2015 sexual assault documentary The Hunting Ground. Gaga was joined on stage by dozens of sexual assault survivors, and although the song didn't win the award for Best Original Song, it did earn a standing ovation from the crowd. However, not everyone in Gaga's life was aware that she herself was a survivor until after Sunday's performance.
Gaga posted a family photo on Instagram yesterday, writing that her grandmother Ronnie and her aunt Sheri both called her the day after the Oscars because she had never told them of her experience:
I was too ashamed. Too afraid. And it took me a long time to even admit it to myself because I'm Catholic and I knew it was evil but I thought it was my fault. I thought it was my fault for ten years.
Thankfully, it sounds like both women were supportive of Gaga. She shared her grandmother's emotional words:
The morning after the Oscars when I talked to my grandmother Ronnie, with tears in her eyes I could hear them welling through the phone she said to me “My darling granddaughter, I've never been more proud of you than I am today.”
Gaga explained how much hearing those words meant to her coming from such an important woman in her life:
Something I have kept a secret for so long that I was more ashamed of than anything– became the thing the women in my life were the most proud of. And not just any women, the ones I look up to the most.
She added the hashtags #BeBrave, #speakup and #tilithappenstoyou.
Gaga first spoke publicly about her rape in December 2014 when she revealed in an interview with Howard Stern that the traumatic experience was the inspiration for her song “Swine.” Gaga was reportedly 19 when she was assaulted by a man 20 years her senior whom she ultimately never confronted. She said she didn't tell anyone about it for a long time, adding, “I didn't even tell myself for the longest time.” She also said she “was a shell of my former self at one point” because of it.
(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)