Demi Lovato says her old manager used to "control" what she ate

6 March 2020, 12:41

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

"If there was fruit in my room they took it out because that's extra sugar."

Demi Lovato has opened up about her eating disorder and relapse in a candid new interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Last month (Jan 26), Demi Lovato returned to music. The 27-year-old performed her first single in two years, 'Anyone', at the Grammys and received a standing ovation for her performance. The song is, in Demi's own words, a "cry for help" about her battle with addiction. Today (Mar 6), Demi is back with another new song. 'I Love Me' is an empowering, self-love anthem.

READ MORE: Demi Lovato opens up about Anyone lyrics and the meaning behind them

To promote 'I Love Me', Demi Lovato appeared on Ellen and, during the show, she spoke candidly about her eating disorder and how her former manager, Phil McIntryre, used to control what she ate and get her team to keep sugar away from her.

Demi Lovato says her old manager Phil McIntyre used to "control" what she ate
Demi Lovato says her old manager Phil McIntyre used to "control" what she ate. Picture: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy, NBC

Ellen opened the interview, saying: "I just learned today that when you came for the last six years, the team, you're no longer with this team, they used to hide all of the sugar and put everything away so that when you got to your dressing room, even backstage, there was no sugar anywhere near you. Did you know that was happening?"

Demi responded: "I didn't know that was happening until today. I lived a life for the past six years that I felt wasn't my own. I struggled really hard with an eating disorder but it turned into other things. My life, I just felt was so, and I hate to use this word, but I felt like it was controlled by so many people around me."

She added: "If I was in my hotel room at night, they would take the phone out of the room so that I couldn't call room service or if there was fruit in my room they took it out because that's extra sugar. We're not talking about brownies and cookies and candies and stuff like that. It was fruit.

"And for many years, I didn't have a birthday cake. I had a watermelon cake where you cut a watermelon into the shape of a cake and then you put fat-free whipped cream on top and that was your cake. It kind of became like this ongoing joke, but I just really wanted birthday cake."

Demi went on to say: "And so this year when I turned 27, I have a new team, and Scooter Braun, my manager, gave me the best birthday cake. And I just remember crying because I was finally eating cake with a manager that didn't need anything from me and that loved me for who I am and supported my journey. I think at some point it becomes dangerous to try to control someone's food when they are recovering from an eating disorder."

Demi also talked openly about her relapse. She said that her eating disorder and her team controlling what she ate put her in a dark place. She added: "People checking what my orders at Starbucks were on my bank statements... just little things like that... it led me to being really unhappy and my bulimia got really bad and I asked for help and I didn't receive the help that I needed."

She then explained that she thought: "I'm six years sober and I'm miserable. I'm even more miserable than I was when I was drinking. Why am I sober?" She continued: "And I sent a message out and I reached out to the people that were on my team and they responded with, 'You're being very selfish, this would ruin things for not just you but for us as well.'"

"My core issues are abandonment from my birth father as a child. He was an addict and I have vivid memories of him leaving so they totally played on that fear, and I felt completely abandoned so I drank and that night I went to a party and there was other stuff there and it was only three months before I ended up in the hospital with an OD."

Demi Lovato - I Love Me

Demi ended the interview, adding: "Ultimately, I made the decisions that got me to where I am. I think it's important that I sit here on this stage and tell you at home or you in the audience or you right here that, if you do go through this, you yourself can get through it, you can get to the other side. And it may be bumpy but you are a 10/10 don't forget it.

"As long as you take responsibility, you can move past it and learn to love yourself the way that you deserve to be loved."