Demi Lovato Says Old Management Team Fueled Eating Disorder

Two years after Demi Lovato’s near-fatal overdose, the singer is in a good place — and she gives her new management team a lot of the credit.

Demi Lovato’s Struggle With Addiction in Her Own Words

“I used to have people watching me the night before a photo shoot to make sure that I didn’t binge or eat and be swollen the next day,” the 27-year-old singer told Bustle in her digital cover story published on Tuesday, July 7. “It’s just a totally different world now. … I don’t prepare for photo shoots, even. I can eat Subway for breakfast.”

Lovato enlisted Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande’s manager, Scooter Braun, to help her get back on track in 2019 after completing treatment.

“In the past, I projected my own abandonment issues onto other people, especially male figures that I looked up to as father figures,” the Disney alum told Bustle. “I had to reflect on, ‘What do I want my relationship with my manager to look like without enmeshing my own father issues onto him?’” (Lovato had a rocky relationship with her birth father before his 2013 death.)

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Braun, for his part, admitted he didn’t plan on taking Lovato on as a client until they met in person.

“What I saw is that she needed someone who didn’t need her,” he told Bustle. “And about halfway through the meeting, [my partner Allison Kaye and I] both looked at each other and instinctually kind of laughed. And then Allison texted me and goes, ‘You’re thinking the same thing I am.’ I knew I could help her. I knew Allison could help her. I knew that we were in a position, in our lives and our careers, that if Demi needed to take three years off, she can do that. And if Demi needs us to go and have an honest conversation and get her out of something, it doesn’t affect my reputation.”

Braun went on to explain how he knew he could help Lovato.

“I’ve been through that with Justin. I’ve been through that with Ariana, you know?” he told the outlet. “I felt like, because I’ve been through that a couple of times with people who started off very young, I can understand [Demi’s] struggles a little bit.”

Earlier this year, Lovato told Ellen DeGeneres that she felt “controlled” by her former team.

“If I was in my hotel room at night, they would take the phone out of the room so I couldn’t call room service. If there was fruit in my room, they took it out because that’s extra sugar,” she said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in March. “Like, we’re not talking about brownies, and cookies, and candy, it was fruit. For many years I didn’t even have a birthday cake, I had a watermelon cake. I just really wanted birthday cake.”

Lovato, who will document her recent music and sobriety journey in an upcoming four-part YouTube docuseries, now feels stronger than ever as she works with dietitians, coaches and spiritual advisers.

Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich: A Timeline of Their Relationship

“The people that are there with me every single day, I have to feel very connected with them and that I can trust them. That I can be totally vulnerable, transparent, and honest,” she admitted. “And if I’m having a panic attack in the middle of a photo shoot or something that I can sit in the dressing room with whomever is there, and they can help me with it.”

The “Anyone” songstress also found love with boyfriend Max Ehrich. She confirmed to Bustle that the twosome are living together. A source told Us Weekly that Lovato and Ehrich, 28, are very serious.

“They’ve been talking about getting engaged,” the source told Us in June. “Her family really likes him. He’ll likely propose within the next couple of months, but when quarantine is over.”

If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association at 1-800-931-2237.

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