Lady Gaga has revealed that she was raped as a teenager and said that it took her years of therapy to acknowledge and start to recover from the trauma.
"I don't want to be defined by it," the pop star said. "I'll be damned if somebody is going to say that every creatively intelligent thing I ever did is all boiled down to one dickhead that did that to me."
Lady Gaga, 28, said that the rape took place when she was 19 and that she has gone through years of therapy. She did not go into detail but said that the aggressor was 20 years older than her.
"It happens every day. It's really scary and it's sad and it didn't affect me as much right after as it did about four or five years later," she told radio host Howard Stern.
"I didn't tell anybody -- I didn't even tell myself for the longest time," she said. "Then I was like, you know what, all this drinking and all this nonsense, you have to go to the source, otherwise it won't go away."
The singer, who later became known for her gaudy outfits and outspoken social commentary, said that she did not report the rape. She said she saw her aggressor once more when she ran into him at a store and that she became "paralyzed by fear."
Lady Gaga revealed the rape as she discussed her song "Swine" from her 2013 album Artpop. She performed the song at this year's South by Southwest festival, where she rode a mechanical bull in a suggestive fashion and had a collaborator vomit on her.
"The song is about rape. This song is about demoralisation," Lady Gaga said in her radio interview Tuesday.
"I want this chick to throw up on me in front of the world, so that I can tell them, you know what? You could never, ever degrade me as much as I could degrade myself and look how beautiful it is what I do."