Lady Gaga's Family Didn't Know About Her Rape Until the Oscars

'I never told them I was a survivor; I was too ashamed'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2016 5:50 PM CST
Lady Gaga's Family Didn't Know About Her Rape Until the Oscars
Lady Gaga performs "Til It Happens To You" at the Oscars on Sunday.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Lady Gaga's performance of her Oscar-nominated song about sexual assault during the Academy Awards on Sunday was a powerful moment for a lot of people. The Los Angeles Times reports two of those people were the singer's own aunt and grandmother, who weren't aware she was a survivor of sexual abuse herself. "My grandmother and my Aunt Sheri both called me the day after the Oscars because I never told them I was a survivor," Gaga posted to Instagram on Tuesday. "I was too ashamed. Too afraid." She first opened up about her abuse at the hands of an older man when she was 19 during an interview with Howard Stern in 2014, according to CNN.

Gaga said she blamed herself for her own sexual abuse for a decade, but her grandmother called her after Sunday's performance to tell her she'd never been more proud of her. "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 said on Instagram. The singer performed Til It Happens to You—written for The Hunting Ground, a documentary about campus sexual assault—while surrounded by rape survivors and following an introduction by Joe Biden. (More Lady Gaga stories.)

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