And though we may have seen snippets of her hectic history, she's never been as candid and raw as in her documentary, Simply Complicated.
Here, are the 10 things we learned about Demi Lovato from her jaw-dropping, inspiring doco.
1. For her last documentary, Demi Lovato was on cocaine
The doco opens on a pretty brutal point. Demi says that she's nervous about doing a long interview piece like this, because the last one that she did (which was her last documentary, Stay Strong) "I was high on cocaine". This was pretty exposing as her last doco was meant to be about sobriety and her on the road to recovery.
2. Demi had a really complex relationship with her birth father
Demi has spoken before about her birth father, but in this documentary, she gets seriously candid about him and his relationship with her, her mum and her sisters. Demi reveals that he had a hardcore addiction to drugs and alcohol and that he would frequently lie to her in order to get money off them — one time he even faked that he had cancer.
Her birth father, Patrick Lovato, passed away on June 23, 2013 — a time that Demi describes as 'complicated', as she was sad that he was gone, but also resented him for the abuse that he inflicted on her and her family.
3. Demi was bullied at school to the point where she was asked to ‘kill herself’
Demi has always been an anti-bullying advocate, and after she opens up in Simply Complicated, you can see why. She was horrifically bullied at school, with many calling her a 'slut' and 'fat', but things got much worse when a group of girls (who her sister labels as "f*cking evil") creating a 'suicide petition' — getting classmates to sign their name, encouraging Demi to take her own life.
Demi notes that this was a key point where her mental health took a nose dive, she became incredibly depressed, started trying to slit her wrists, and often had suicidal thoughts. She also tried to override this dark time by building friendships through partying, which was when her relationship with alcohol and drugs began. When talking about this in the documentary, she indicates that it's clear to her, now, that she has the same addictive personality as her birth father.
4. Nick Jonas tried to ‘save’ Demi after her breakup with Joe Jonas
Post-Camp Rock and during the Camp Rock 2 promo tour, it was clear that Demi's career was on the up. She was becoming a household name and there was a lot of attention around her. She, also, had just had a high profile breakup with Joe Jonas, who she was still on a press tour with, so had to work with every day. During this time she was turning to drugs almost daily.
Nick Jonas, who is still a great friend of Demi's to this day, noticed that something was up and "tried to save her" and keep her on the straight and narrow. In the documentary, he talks about it and looks absolutely gutted that he couldn't do that.
5. Rehab didn’t work for Demi, the first couple of times
Demi's management, as well as her friends and family, tried to get her into rehab multiple times. Once she finally agreed to go, she attended for the course and then powered through eight sober companions after she left. She admits that she was taking drugs the whole time, getting high and hiding it from everyone.
6. Demi has been sober for five and a half years
Thankfully, Demi was able to remain sober for six years. The turning point? Her management (as well as her whole crew) said they were going to drop her and leave her, declaring that they couldn't watch her destroy herself again. She completely broke down and begged them to stay. They said they only way they would was if she promised to change, and if they took her phone off her. She smashed her phone up right there in front of them — proving that she was ready for a fresh start.
7. Demi’s breakup with Wilmer made her relapse
Demi freely admits that she struggles every single day with her eating disorder. She has bulimia nervosa, meaning that she binges and purges — attributing emotional eating and a fear of gaining weight as her reason why.
Though she is significantly better with it now, declaring that her diet is good and her fitness routine is keeping her in check. However, Demi broke up her boyfriend of six years, Wilmer Valderrama, and she explains that it caused her to relapse and purge once again.
8. …And she’s still in love with him
Demi also did the one thing that we've always been too scared to admit: That she's still in love with Wilmer. She opened up about having regrets about ending, being worried that she'll never find anyone as good as him.
9. Demi is very much back on the dating scene
However, despite her ~feels~ being a little confused every now and again, Demi is whole-heartedly throwing herself into the dating scene like the champ she is. She talks about being on dating apps and some of her dating disasters — including one dude grabbing a bottle service chick's ass and then doing a line of coke. But she's enjoying going on dates and stressing over when the best time is to text back. #relatable
10. Demi isn’t restricting herself with her sexuality
As hinted by her hit song "Cool for the Summer", Demi has confirmed the rumours that she's into both guys and girls — showing viewers that she 'swipes right' for both sexes, even finding a hot girl that she wanted to go on a date with. Demi also gets suuuuuper candid about casual sex, and how she hates the stigma surrounding it. She doesn't think that women should feel bad for wanting to have sex for the fun of it, 'cos "it is fun!", regardless of who it's with…
Watch the full Simply Complicated documentary, here:
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.