Demi Lovato has dropped out of the Jonas Brothers tour and entered rehab. In a statement, a representative for the 18-year-old singer and actress says Lovato is taking a break “in order to seek medical treatment for emotional and physical issues she has dealt with for some time.”
While what exactly is going on with the teen star isn’t clear, an unnamed source recently revealed to People Magazine that before she was famous, Lovato was a victim of bullying and is still dealing with the emotional repercussions. Lovato herself addressed her experience when she took part in the “Teens Against Bullying” campaign last month.
In an open letter to other victims, she wrote:
I was bullied in middle school. It got so bad I chose to leave and be home schooled. Many people think of bullying as getting beat up in school, but it is so much more than that. For me it was all of the verbal harassment I had to deal with. People say sticks and stones may break your bones but names can never hurt you, but that’s not true. Words can hurt. They hurt me. Things were said to me that I still haven’t forgotten.
Demi Lovato says her experience as a bullying victim motivated her to succeed, but recent events may have pushed her too far. She and her longtime best friend, Selena Gomez, reportedly had a falling out and her romantic relationship with Joe Jonas ended abruptly.
Yes, that’s the same Joe Jonas with whom she is sharing a stage on the Jonas Brothers tour. In fact, a source claims that just this past weekend, Demi got into a physical altercation with a dancer on that tour and it was that incident that prompted her to seek help.
Sadly, what Lovato is experiencing isn’t all that different from what a lot of girls go through. They fight with their friends and break up with their boyfriends. But it’s the bullying – the tearing down and ripping apart of another human being – that makes the difference. And as has been made so clear with the recent suicides of young bullying victims, the damage can be debilitating and long-lasting.
My own child is a big Demi Lovato fan and I intend to have a long talk with her about what is happening to this young woman who she admires so much. And if she gets nothing else out of our talk, I hope she at least realizes how important it is to ask for help when you need it.
We wish Demi Lovato all the best.
Image: Jim Spellman/WireImage/MTV
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