Oprah and Prince Harry’s new series for Apple TV+, “The Me You Can’t See,” features several stories from both everyday people and celebrities on how they struggle with their mental health.
In one especially poignant scene from the first episode, pop star Lady Gaga opens up about being sexually assaulted at the age of 19.
She said a music producer she was working with told her to “take your clothes off.”
“And I left and they told me they were going to burn all my music," she recalled.
"And they didn’t stop, they didn’t stop asking me and I just froze and I just… I…I don’t even remember,” she said, crying.
She said she would not publicly name her abuser.
“I understand this Me Too movement, I understand that some people feel really comfortable with this, and I do not,” she said. “I do not ever want to face that person again. This system is so abusive and so dangerous."
Gaga added that years after she was assaulted, she went to the hospital for her chronic pain and was surprised when a psychiatrist was brought in.
“I said why is there a psych here, I can’t feel my body,” she chuckled. “First I felt full on pain, then I went numb and then I was sick for weeks and weeks and weeks after.”
“And I realized that it was the same pain that I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on the corner at my parents’ house because I was vomiting and sick,” she said. “Because I’d been being abused, I was locked away in a studio for months.”
“I’ve had so many MRIs and scans, right, they can’t, they don’t find nothing. But your body remembers,” she said.
Gaga went on to say that the trauma of her experience led to “a total psychotic break” for a few years. In that time, she won an Oscar for her performance in the 2019 film “A Star is Born.”
“You can come back from things like that but when it hits you really hard it can change you,” she said. “I went through a really crazy time in my head that I still work on and I’m trying to make sure that I give back with that experience instead of just, I don’t know, locking it away and faking it.”
“It’s a really very real thing to feel like there’s a black cloud that is following you wherever you go telling you that you are worthless and should die,” she said, adding she used to “scream and throw myself against the wall.”
"You know why it’s not good to self-harm? Because it makes you feel worse. You think you’re going to feel better because you’re showing someone, 'Hey look I’m in pain,' (but) it doesn’t help,” she said. “I always tell people, tell somebody don’t show somebody.”
That sentiment echoes throughout the entire show as Winfrey, Harry and others open up about their mental health journeys.
From NBA player DeMar DeRozan to Olympic-bound boxer Ginny Fuchs who struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder, the series shows multiple people push through their pain to get to healing.
"The Me You Can't See" premieres Friday on Apple TV+.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. The hotline, run by the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), can put you in contact with your local rape crisis center. You can also access RAINN’s online chat service at https://www.rainn.org/get-help.