Lady Gaga shocked even the shock jock himself, Howard Stern, with tales of being sexually abused by music industry execs as she came up in the business. Gaga’s is an unfortunately familiar tale of predatory behavior by powerful men. It exists in all walks of life, but it’s perhaps especially prominent in the entertainment industry where young attractive performers need to rely on older established people to get ahead. Gaga was grateful, she says, when she could finally work without constantly “pulling my skirt down in a studio because men were shoving their hands up my dress.”
Gaga says she hid the horror of what happened even from herself for “four or five years” when it hit her “hard.” Drinking helped her avoid the pain. But the strangest thing was this. About the sexual abuse and what she called “horrific things” that happened to her, Gaga said, “I’m able to laugh about it now.” She said it taken her “a lot of mental and physical therapy to heal.” This brings up two questions that Stern didn’t ask. One, does physical therapy mean she was repairing damage that had occurred to her physically during the abuse she talks about? And two: is laughing about it right? Is it healthy? Or is it one of the stages of dealing with it that will pass into something else, like seeking retribution? Because those men who put their hands up her dress? Lady Gaga knows their names.