Dancing with the devil (Dancing with the Devil, in its original in English) is the title of the new documentary, released this Tuesday, about the singer Demi Lovato, 28 years old. And, given its content, it seems clear that its title hits the mark squarely. The musical career of the former Disney girl is blurred by her descent into hell, because it talks about drugs – reaching the limit of overdose -, sexual assaults and even how the singer lost her vision and is legally blind .
The footage will be viewable from March 23 on YouTube, but before that, it premiered on Tuesday, March 16, on the first day of the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW), which is being held virtually this year, and was the highlight of the day. Although much had already been known about Lovato’s addiction to alcohol, of which she managed to be sober from 2012 to 2018, and also to drugs, which she fell back on and caused her to overdose in July 2018, the revelations of the documentary have generated commotion.
Trailer del documental ‘Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil’
That Lovato overdose, which was known as soon as it happened in Los Angeles, California, was more serious than many believed then. As explained in the documentary and tells The New York Times, who has had access to it, the singer suffered three strokes that left her cognitive damage, including blindness, as well as a heart attack, multi-organ failure and pneumonia caused by she was about to choke on her own vomit. In addition, the camel that gave her the heroin that fateful night sexually attacked her, leaving her on the brink of death. It was not the first time that she suffered a similar aggression, since as she has told in the documentary, when she was only 15 years old and was still a virgin, she was also raped by her boyfriend at the time.
That blindness has evolved into vision problems; There are certain points that the singer does not see, so among other things she cannot drive and is in fact considered legally blind. “It’s interesting how quickly I adapted,” she explains about the new vision with which she got up that July after the overdose. “I didn’t allow myself to give myself time to feel sad about it. I just thought, ‘How are we going to fix it?’
The July 2018 overdose was the culmination of a few previous months in which the singer had lived a marathon of substances, experimenting with some that she had not tried and taking from MDMA to marijuana, alcohol, oxycodone (an opioid painkiller) or cocaine. In fact, she herself recounts that she spent a night “frantic shopping” for drugs shortly before that last hit. “That alone could have killed me,” he says.
It was two weeks later when a drug dealer gave her heroin and crack, and in fact in the documentary she is seen consuming those substances, which were the ones that, along with fentanyl, caused her to overdose. She believed she was in control of the situation, but it was on a trip to Bali in May 2018 that she realized she was a heroin addict. “I started taking it recreationally, but obviously you can’t do that with heroin, you become an addict,” he says. Eventually, he ended up in a detox clinic.
After that ordeal, Lovato confesses that she has not been completely sober since the summer of 2019 and that she smokes marijuana and drinks alcohol “in moderation.” “I have learned that saying that I will never do it again does not work for me,” he admits, although he still finds it difficult to consume some substances. “I know that I have finished once and for all with what can kill me. But telling myself that I will never be able to drink anything with alcohol or smoke marijuana I feel like I fail, because for me it is black or white. For many years I had engraved in my head that a drink was the same as smoking a crack pipe, “he explains. “But I don’t want people to think that they can go out and have a drink or smoke a joint, because it’s not the same for everyone,” Lovato justifies. “Recovery is not standard for everyone. They cannot force you to be sober if you are not prepared. You shouldn’t be sober for others. You have to do it yourself.
However, the singer’s environment is not entirely in agreement. People like his manager, the controversial Scooter Braun, or the singer Elton John, expressed in the New York newspaper their concern about that intermediate point between the hardest drugs and the most socially accepted. “Moderation doesn’t work,” Elton John claimed. “Either you do it or you don’t.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.