Demi Lovato opened up recently about her estranged father’s death, speaking about the mental issues he battled and about their strained relationship.
Lovato, who was recently honored at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for her work in raising awareness about mental health issues, has publicly touched upon the battles she herself has faced with depression, cutting, and eating disorders but hasn’t spoken much about her father. When he died earlier this month, she refrained from talking about him until now.
“I’m handling it OK,” Demi, 20, told Us Weekly. “My father and I didn’t have the most ideal relationship but at the end of the day he’s still my dad. I grew up with him and he’s a wonderful person, but I’m handling it OK. It’s difficult. The last time I talked to him was two years ago. You try to have faith in somebody, even when you’re the last person that believes in him. But when somebody lets you down after you’ve been the only one there for them, and so many times, you don’t know what else to do. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. My father dealt with mental illnesses and he wasn’t able to function in society and that happens to a lot of people.”
The former Disney star hasn’t been shy about opening up with her own troubles, because she says she hopes her story will help others. In fact, her father’s passing has inspired her to start the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program, which will help pay for treatment expenses at Cast Recovery for someone in need.