Lady Gaga felt she was living a "big lie" before she spoke out about being sexually assaulted when she was 19.
The “House of Gucci” actress revealed last year that she fell pregnant after being sexually assaulted by a music producer when she was just 19 years old, and she admitted she felt she was "living this big lie" by not speaking about her ordeal, so when she did open up, she felt much more "comfortable".
She told Deadline: "I think that for me it was just a healing process because I’m in the public eye often.
“At the time when I first started to come out of things that I was going through, I was in the public eye very frequently and followed all the time.
"I really felt like I was living this big lie by not sharing what I was experiencing.
“And it actually helped me to share my life experiences because then my fans - or people that were following me, people that were discovering me - they knew more of the human side of me.
”I just felt more comfortable in the world. It’s like living in your truth.
"I was with Jake Gyllenhaal the other day and we were talking about his film ['The Guilty']. I believe the quote at the beginning of the movie is like something like, 'It’s the truth that will set you free.' And I really believe that.
"I think when you live in your values and your truth, it can help you. In my particular existence it helps me to not feel like an imposter, but rather to know that I’m uniquely and truly myself, wounds and all."
The 35-year-old star called for a shift in the way sex crimes are discussed and insisted there should be more conversation about them, not just when it happens to someone in the public eye.
She added: "I think my true dream for the world would be that we socialize women’s issues such as sexual assault, and maybe not use the word ‘sexual’ and just call it ‘assault’.
“I think that when you apply the word sexual, it implies that there’s something sexy about it. Assault is assault.
“And I think that women, from a young age, experience assault all the time, and our bodies sort of learn to protect ourselves. We start surviving as we experience these assaults.
"What I would wish for the world is that it would be less of a reveal from famous people in Hollywood, and that there would be a more profound conversation around the way that young people are related to in inappropriate and criminal ways—abusive ways—from when they’re very young.
"All types of people experience assaults, and it’s part of the nature of society. We are so comfortable with this poison because we just say, “Well, that’s how it is.” I really challenge that and I wish to say, “But what if it was not that way? What if every time somebody was touched without consent and was assaulted, we paid attention? What if we talked about this?”
"I think a lot of people don’t feel safe in their bodies, and there’s a reason why. I wish that the conversation would shift from Hollywood - or even from people like me speaking out—and would shift more towards the everyday person who might look more closely at their life and ask themselves if they’re in an environment that is healthy for them.
“We have to challenge those systems, and we have to clean them, or we have to destroy them and rebuild them."