Jordan Pruitt has more to say: Why she's sharing her #MeToo story now (Exclusive)

There's more to Jordan Pruitt's story that she wants people to know.

The singer, who became a household name at the age of 14 touring with Disney Channel stars, recently revealed that she was sexually abused by a powerful man in her life at the height of her career. It was a secret that she didn't tell anyone for years, and it left her suicidal and questioning her future. But, 13 years later, at the age of 27, she's hoping that by sharing her story, she can inspire others to share theirs, too.

READ MORE: Jordan Pruitt reveals she was sexually abused as a teenager

Pruitt's story, which she was inspired to share by the #MeToo movement that has revolutionized Hollywood over the past year, is a chilling one; it demonstrates the precarious position that child stars find themselves in, surrounded by adults that are controlling their careers, making decisions on their behalf and oftentimes abusing the power that comes with making such decisions.

The "Outside Looking In" singer knows for a fact that some of her peers have some through similar experiences, including with the man that took advantage of her for upwards of two years. Though Pruitt won't disclose the man's identity for fear of legal consequences, in some ways she's okay with that: "I would get sued," she said of the man, who still works in the entertainment industry. "And I honestly don’t want to spend anymore money on that evil person. The world’s karma will get the best of him. It’s not my job to do that."

To shed more light on her experiences as a child star, why she decided to speak out and what the future holds for her, Jordan Pruitt spoke with AOL's Gibson Johns over the phone after sharing her story.

38 PHOTOS
Jordan Pruitt over the years
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Jordan Pruitt over the years
Jordan Pruitt in concert on October 20, 2006 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. (Photo by Kevin Kane/WireImage)
Jordan Pruitt (Photo by Joey Foley/FilmMagic)
Jordan Pruitt during The Cheetah Girls and Vanessa Hudgens in Concert - November 9, 2006 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, United States. (Photo by Joey Foley/FilmMagic)
Jordan Pruitt during 'High School Musical' In Concert - December 28, 2006 at Verizon Wireless Center in Washington, DC, Washington, DC, United States. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
Musical Artist Jordan Pruit performs at the Hollywood Records & Star Jordan Pruitt Joins IAC CEO Barry Diller For Debut of New Tween Virtual World 'ZwinkyCuties.com' at Times Square Studios on September 16, 2008 in New York City (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage)
Musical Artist Jordan Pruit performs at the Hollywood Records & Star Jordan Pruitt Joins IAC CEO Barry Diller For Debut of New Tween Virtual World 'ZwinkyCuties.com' at Times Square Studios on September 16, 2008 in New York City (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Musical Artist Jordan Pruit poses at the Hollywood Records & Star Jordan Pruitt Joins IAC CEO Barry Diller For Debut of New Tween Virtual World 'ZwinkyCuties.com' at Times Square Studios on September 16, 2008 in New York City (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage for Brodeur Partners)
VALENCIA, CA - AUGUST 23: ***Exclusive Coverage*** Singer Jordan Pruitt performs onstage at the Radio Disney Concert held at Six Flags Magic Mountain at the Golden Bear Theater on August 23, 2008 in Valencia, California. (Photo by Mathew Imaging/WireImage)
NEW ORLEANS - JULY 27: Jordan Pruitt performs the National Anthem on the field before the San Jose SaberCats and the Philadelphia Soul play the Arena Bowl XXII at the New Orleans Arena on July 27, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Singer Jordan Pruitt at Chevy Rocks The Future at the Buena Vista Lot at The Walt Disney Studios on February 19, 2008 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Chris Polk/WireImage)
BURBANK, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Singer Jordan Pruitt performs at Chevy Rocks The Future at the Buena Vista Lot at The Walt Disney Studios on February 19, 2008 in Burbank, California. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
NEW YORK - APRIL 22: Jordan Pruitt at Samsung's Hope for Education Annual Program Launch, NYC on April 22, 2008 (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
NEW YORK - APRIL 22: Jordan Pruitt at Samsung's Hope for Education Annual Program Launch, NYC on April 22, 2008 (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
ORLANDO, FL - MAY 02: Actress / Singer Jordan Pruitt appears on the red carpet for the 2008 Disney Channel Games at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World on May 2, 2008 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Daly/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - JUNE 20: Performer Jordan Pruitt arrives at the 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on June 20, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MAY 02: Actress / Singer Jordan Pruitt appears on the red carpet for the 2008 Disney Channel Games at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World on May 2, 2008 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Daly/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Singer Jordan Pruitt arrives at the Walt Disney Pictures' 'Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience' at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 24, 2009. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Jordan Pruitt arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience' at the El Capitan Theatre on February 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
INDIANAPOLIS - AUGUST 10: Jordan Pruitt performs in concert at the Indiana State Fair on August 10, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joey Foley/FilmMagic)
INDIANAPOLIS - AUGUST 10: Jordan Pruitt performs in concert at the Indiana State Fair on August 10, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joey Foley/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD - SEPTEMBER 26: Singer Jordan Pruitt attends the Neutrogena Fresh Faces of Music event benefiting the VH1 Save the Music Foundation at Jim Henson Studios on September 26, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - SEPTEMBER 26: Singer Jordan Pruitt attends the Neutrogena Fresh Faces of Music event benefiting the VH1 Save the Music Foundation at Jim Henson Studios on September 26, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - SEPTEMBER 26: Singer Jordan Pruitt performs at the Neutrogena Fresh Faces Music Event for VH1 Save the Music at Jim Henson Studios on September 26, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 28: Jordan Pruitt performs at World Wish Day in front of 30 wish kids at The Grove on April 28, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
THE VOICE -- Season: 3 -- Pictured: Jordan Pruitt -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Blind Auditions' Episode 306 -- Pictured: Jordan Pruitt -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Christina Reality' Episode 314 -- Pictured: (l-r) Adriana Louise, Jordan Pruitt -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Christina Reality' Episode 314 -- Pictured: (l-r) Billie Joe Armstrong, Christina Aguilera, Jordan Pruitt -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Christina Reality' Episode 314 -- Pictured: Jordan Pruitt -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Battle Rounds' Episode 314 -- Pictured: Jordan Pruitt -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Battle Rounds' Episode 314 -- Pictured: (l-r) Adriana Louise, Carson Daly, Jordan Pruitt -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Recording Artist Jordan Pruitt arrives at the 14th annual 'Friends 'N' Family' GRAMMY event at Paramount Studios on February 11, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
Actress Jordan Pruitt arrives at the Nail Garden Brentwood opening party & 2nd annual Beauty For A Cause spring toy drive at Nail Garden Brentwood on May 2, 2011 in Brentwood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
As a woman, having clear skin isn't always a possibility. Hormones, not drinking enough water, or not enough sleep, can affect your skin. I have noticed whenever I get a facial from @sydlayne THIS is what my skin looks like without any makeup on it. (Okay I did pencil my eyebrows😂) Not only does it boost my confidence, it makes life a little less stressful. Check her out at @spahausnashville
No caption necessary. #throwbackthursday
With my sweetheart for life. Had so much fun celebrating his brother and my new sister @kaylabiscuits #CONGRATS 💥
5 years ago today I met my best friend and beautiful Wife @iamjordanpruitt ❤️.
Secrets Make You Sick. By: Me " At just 14 years young, it looked as if all my dreams were coming true. And for the most part, they were. But, in the darkest crevice of my heart, would lie an insurmountable, undeniable, irrefutable amount of pain. I remember being in California, feeling the sunshine on my face, and seeing his eyes. Eyes that pierce your skin. Eyes that never stopped watching me for once second. As I filmed my music video, Jump to the Rhythm, those eyes were watching my every move. As I watch this video back now, I see this young girl laughing and smiling, but inside I was feeling trapped. All I remember is the feeling of being totally isolated from the world. This man had taken what was supposed to be one of the best experiences of my life, and gave me the worst memory of it. To this day, I won't watch that video. " Link in Bio. This is MY story.
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Read their conversation below:

What has it been like for you since pressing publish on that Facebook post?

I needed to say it for myself, and I didn’t know what the reaction was going to be, but I knew I needed to do it to give myself some closure. Most people think, "You’ll feel vindicated [by sharing your story]," but for me it’s been 50-50. Some part of it still makes me sad, but the happy part is that I can be a light and beacon of hope for other people and to tell them that they should never give up. This has been a personal struggle of mine since I was 14 years old. It’s a big deal for me to be able to stand up and say, "You’re not alone." Life is hard enough as it is, so at least I can be that person who can show that you’re not alone.

How have you gauged the reaction to your story? It seemed to be mostly positive.

It’s been amazing. I haven’t put out any music for about five years, and honestly in my mind I was like, "Who would share this Facebook post?" But it was so overwhelming. It was really, really kind, and it really did touch me. I just sat on my phone sobbing, because it was so sweet.

What was your thought process on sharing your story in the way that you did? Why now?

I don’t really know what the answer to that question is. All I know is that, obviously, the more people that speak out about stuff like this, the more empowered each woman will feel. The last year and a half in the media has really inspired me. It’s like, "Hey, I can put this out there and I don’t have to be ashamed of anything."The temperature of where we are in today’s culture makes it feel less scary. That’s the reason why I’m releasing it now. This person unfortunately is still in the entertainment world, so it’s very frightening to me personally. I’m obviously not allowed to give anybody his name, but I’m sure people in my inner circle know exactly who I’m talking about. It does make me feel empowered.

Why can't you give anybody his name?

Unfortunately, this is somebody that I worked with from the time I was 14 until I was 16, and I work at a law firm currently, so I know that saying stuff like that would qualify as "allegations" or "defamation," so I would get sued, and I honestly don’t want to spend anymore money on that evil person. The world’s karma will get the best of him. It’s not my job to do that.

In your mind, is there any worry about him doing what he did to you to other women? 

Yes. Absolutely. One-thousand percent.

Has anybody told you that he’s done similar things to others?

He has done similar things to various people. In a 1-10 scale, mine being a 10, he has done other things to other people, unfortunately.

You didn’t go into much detail about the relationship itself. Is there anything else you’d like to share or that you wish you had shared in the initial post?

Of course. I loved that everybody called it "lengthy," because I’m in the process of writing a novel. For me, it was a lot longer and had a lot more detail. It was very, very long, but in disguising his identity, I had to take a lot of stuff out that would’ve given his name away. It was kind of like a shot in the heart for me, but I also need to do what’s best for me, my family and other people, so I had to shy away from certain things.

You said in your story that you didn't tell anyone else about what your abuser was doing to you, until you told one friend, who then told your parents. But then you denied the story when your parents confronted you. Do you feel as though the adults around you when you were a teenager could've done more to protect you, even though they weren't aware of what was really going on?

I was going to tweet this, but it’s not my parents’ fault. I was scared to death to tell them. I just told them a week ago. I was scared to tell my record label, too. I had all these people that I was scared to tell, because I just didn’t want to hurt anybody. I was the one being hurt, and that’s how I can be now as an adult. It’s my personality to feel like I can take on all of the pain.

Because you denied the story to your parents and the authorities at the time, no police report was ever filed. Do you regret that?

Of course, yes. Most definitely. But, at the time, I didn’t want my name that I had just built up -- I was at the prime of my career, which had just started -- to be tarnished or to tarnish people’s perception of me and forget about the music I had just made.

In our correspondence, you mentioned that you know of other women in the music business who have gone through similar experiences. Can you tell me a little more about those stories you've heard?

I feel like I’ve been in the music business for, like, 100 years, probably because I started so young, but I’m the only person from Nashville who has spoken out about something like this -- other than Kesha. But I have so many friends -- I could list off 10 to 15 people who I’m friends with and reached out to me saying similar things happened to them. Like now, and in the past. It’s really eye-opening, and oddly comforting. I want to be that kind of voice for women, because I had probably 100 text messages from women who have gone through the same thing but are too scared to say anything.

Do you think that this is an industry problem, in terms of the way things are set up between adults and people that are underage?

I think it goes back to the beginning of time. It’s just an abuse of power, and you see it in every industry. Unfortunately, in the entertainment world, lines get blurred very easily; it’s very easy for someone to assume that role of power and abuse it. 

What's interesting about your early career is that you weren't completely a Disney kid, but you were tangentially in that world, recording songs for Disney Channel soundtracks and touring with those stars. What do you remember about that system? Because a lot of the child stars who go through it have differing opinions on it.

I’ve been on tour with every single one of the Disney people. We all have our different experiences. Demi [Lovato] is the sweetest person ever, and I remember us growing up together and going to parties together. For me, I was basically hiding this secret the entire time, but also I felt like I had to put no a facade because of that, and my experience with Disney was actually fantastic. I got to write all my own music -- even though I had to fight to write it, I still wrote it -- but by 21 I was sick of fighting. I was like 85 in Disney years, so it was time to hang up my ears. [Laughs] But everyone was going through something so different, and I’m the least judgmental person. As a child being thrown into that world and having press and media on you is the most horrifying thing. All of my Disney friends have done a really great job -- even through struggles -- of dealing with fame and fortune. There will never be a handbook on how to do something like that.

40 PHOTOS
Demi Lovato from past to present
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Demi Lovato from past to present
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Demi Lovato attends 2008 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre on November 23, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by ANDREAS BRANCH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 30: Recording artist Demi Lovato performs onstage at the 2008 Hollywood Holiday Winterfest on November 30, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 17: Demi Lovato arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Twilight' at the Mann Village and Bruin Theaters on November 17, 2008 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Demi Lovato Arrives For The Disney Channel European Premiere Of Camp Rock At The Royal Festival Hall On The South Bank In Central London. (Photo by Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Actress/singer Demi Lovato arrives at the City of Hope benefit concert at the Gibson Amphitheater on September 14, 2008 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
NEILL J. SCHUTZER/�2008 RAMEY PHOTO NEW YORK 8/29/08 DEMI LOVATO LEAVING HER HOTEL IN NEW YORK NJSSR (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 03: Demi Lovato seen on the streets of Manhattan on September 3, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Singer Demi Lovato arrives at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheater on August 3, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Demi Lovato attends 2009 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS at NOKIA Theatre LA Live on November 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by ANDREAS BRANCH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Singer Demi Lovato performs onstage during City of Hope's 2nd Annual Concert For Hope at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on October 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Recording artist Demi Lovato arrives for Disney's 2nd Annual Concert For Hope at the Nokia Theatre on October 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)
Recording artist Demi Lovato spends an hour meeting fans and signing autographs at an AT&T store in Orlando, Florida, Sunday, August 2, 2009. (Photo by Nick Masuda/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 883 -- Pictured: Demi Lovato during a skit on September 3, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 12: Demi Lovato attends the 2010 American Music Awards nomination announcements held at JW Marriott - Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on October 12, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Demi Lovato arrives at Padres Contra El Cancer's 25th Anniversary Gala Honoring George Lopez & Enrique Alejo at The Hollywood Palladium on September 23, 2010 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
- AUGUST 18: Demi Lovato attends Disney Channel Hosts 'Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam' at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on August 18, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by RICHARD KOEK/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Celebrating the release of the movie musical 'Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam,' which premieres September 3rd on the Disney Channel, Demi Lovato and cast members rock Central Park as part of the GMA Summer Concert Series, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 8/13/10 airing on the ABC Television Network. GM10 (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) DEMI LOVATO
SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 10: Demi Lovato performs at the Y 100 Jingle Ball at BankAtlantic Center on December 10, 2011 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 10: Singer/actress Demi Lovato arrives at the 12th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on November 10, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: Demi Lovato is seen on October 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: Demi Lovato visits Extra at The Grove on October 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for Extra)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 20: Singer/tv personality Demi Lovato attends the season finale of Fox's 'The X Factor' at CBS Television City on December 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Barry King/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 17: X Factor Judge Demi Lovato attends Fox's 'The X Factor' season finale news conference at CBS Television City on December 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 16: Demi Lovato performs onstage at the 'VH1 Divas' show held at The Shrine Auditorium on December 16, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 20: Demi Lovato participates in Y 100 Jingle Ball at BB&T Center on December 20, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 11: Singer Demi Lovato attends The Hollywood Reporter's 22nd annual Women In Entertainment Breakfast Honoring Oprah Winfrey at Beverly Hills Hotel on December 11, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 22: Demi Lovato performs onstage during 93.3 FLZ�s Jingle Ball 2014 at Amalie Arena on December 22, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18: Singer Demi Lovato attends 103.5 KISS FM's Jingle Ball on December 18, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Gabriel Grams/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: Demi Lovato attends HOT 99.5�s Jingle Ball 2014, Presented by Mattress Warehouse at the Verizon Center on December 15, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Demi Lovato performs during Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve at Times Square on December 31, 2015 in New York City.
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 19: Demi Lovato attends the 2015 93.3 FLZ Jingle Ball at Amalie Arena on December 19, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 18: Demi Lovato attends the 2015 Y100 Jingle Ball at BB&T Center on December 18, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Singer-songwriter Demi Lovato attends Billboard's 10th Annual Women In Music at Cipriani 42nd Street on December 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
Recording artist Demi Lovato attends 2016 Glamour Women Of The Year Awards in Hollywood, California, on November 14, 2016. / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
Singer Demi Lovato performs at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park to end extreme poverty by 2030 at Central Park on September 24, 2016 in New York City. / AFP / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Singer Demi Lovato attends the 2016 Global Citizen Festival In Central Park To End Extreme Poverty By 2030 at Central Park on September 24, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 31: Demi Lovato performs onstage at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on December 31, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for Fontainebleau Miami Beach)
PASO ROBLES, CA - JULY 22: Demi Lovato performs during the 2018 California Mid-State Fair on July 22, 2018 in Paso Robles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
US singer Demi Lovato performs on stage during the Rock in Rio Lisboa music festival at Bela Vista Park in Lisbon, on June 24, 2018. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP) (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)
BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS -- Red Carpet Arrivals -- 2018 BBMA's at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada -- Pictured: Demi Lovato -- (Photo by: Brian Friedman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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You came up around the time of Demi, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and the Jonas Brothers, all of whom are still these mega-watt stars. Do you ever think about what could've been?

No, not really. We’re all where we’re supposed to be. That’s what you have to keep in mind with life. I probably will do music again, and I’m working at a law firm right now to draft a bill that will protect child performers. There are no laws, so that’s why I’m working here, and that’s what I’m passionate about right now. I never questioned where I am, because I know that where I am is where I’m supposed to be.

So you do think that you'll return to music, despite announcing your retirement from music on Twitter last year?

I only did that -- and I know this sounds ridiculous and irrational -- because I didn’t have the answer that people were wanting. I didn’t want to let people down. I’m still writing now, but I’m just a little bit more behind the scenes. I have a hard time talking about myself -- it makes me cringe.

Did this whole experience from your teenage years impact your decision to retire from music?

Definitely. All of the pain that I’ve endured coincides with music, and it was one of the reasons I didn’t want to sing anymore. 

Now that you've shared your story, do you feel more free to get back into it?

I fee like the weight is lifted, and this is just the beginning for me.

How much of your decision to share your story was inspired by the rest of the #MeToo movement of the past year or so?

I never thought that I would have the guts to join the movement. I can’t even believe it. It’s so cheesy, but women are so much stronger together, and it just makes me proud to be a woman.

Now that your story is out in the open, what would you say to 14-year-old Jordan?

In my post, I said that I was suicidal and that went on for a couple of years. I would tell her that it’s going to be okay. I would give her a hug, because there were some really dark times.

Is there anything else that you'd like to share?

I was just thinking about it, and another reason why I wanted to share what I did now was that I felt the secret was not only controlling my relationships, but also my thoughts and what I said to people. It was causing me to lie and controlling my life. I was like, “Let’s just do it," because I hadn’t been honest with anyone.

Your honesty must be a relief to the people in your life now. You’re being so forthcoming.

I’m not here to say I will never have a panic attack again, but I opened the door to the healing process and, sometime, I’ll be able to close that door. It won’t be tomorrow, but it will be some day.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

87 PHOTOS
High-profile men accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct
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High-profile men accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting or harassing dozens of women, including a number of well-known celebrities, over the past several decades.

(REUTERS/Gus Ruelas)

Matt Lauer was fired from 'Today' after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct that allegedly included giving a co-worker a sex toy and dropping his pants in front of a female employee in his office.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Actor Jeffrey Tambor has been accused of sexual assault by two women from the Amazon series, "Transparent."  

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Eleven women have come forward accusing President Donald Trump of unwanted touching or kissing. Trump has called the sexual harassment claims 'fake news.'

(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

 CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves resigned from the company, the company said on Sunday, amid allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

(Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx)

Sen. Al Franken is accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Director Woody Allen has been accused of sexual assault by his daughter, Dylan Farrow. She says she experienced inappropriate behavior by her adoptive father on several occasions.

(REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)

Hundreds of women accused longtime Hollywood writer and director James Toback of sexual harassment.

(TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Comedian Louis C.K. has been accused of forcing women to watch him masturbate, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Director Bret Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advance towards him when he was 14 years old.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Roger Ailes, the former president of Fox News Channel, was accused of sexually harassing former anchor Gretchen Carlson and several other women from the network.

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Several women accused TV host Charlie Rose of sexual misconduct, including groping and lewd phone calls.

(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Bill Cosby has faced sexual assault allegations from about 60 women, including several women who claim he drugged them.

(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

Four women, including several that were also fellow Scientologists, have accused actor Danny Masterson of sexual assault, according to HuffPost.

 (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Mark Schwahn, the former "One Tree Hill" showrunner, was accused of sexual harassment by a large number of the show's cast and crew.

(Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)

Roy Moore faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with underaged girls.

(REUTERS/Marvin Gentry)

Bill Clinton faced numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct while he was president of the United States, with accusers including Juanita Broaddrick, who accused him of rape, Kathleen Willey who said he groped her and Paula Jones who said he exposed himself to her without consent.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Actor Casey Affleck settled lawsuits out of court wth two women who accused him of sexual harassment.  

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Film Independent)

Bill O'Reilly has reportedly made numerous settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment.

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Anthony Weiner, a former Democratic congressman was sentenced to 21 months in prison in September 2017 after pleading guilty to sexting a teenage girl.

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Veteran journalist Mark Halperin has been accused of sexually harassing women while he worked at ABC News.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Singer R. Kelly is accused of holding women against their will in houses in Illinois and Georgia in a reported 'sex cult.'

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Former Fox Host Eric Bolling was accused of sending unsolicited lewd text messages to female colleagues.

(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Director Roman Polanski fled the US after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Several other women have also come forward to accuse him of sexual assault.

(REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

Chef John Besh stepped down from the company he founded after female employees reported facing sexual harassment there. 

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Photographer Terry Richardson was labeled the 'Harvey Weinstein of Fashion' by the Sunday Times amid widespread accusations of sexual harassment by models.

(Photo by Eugene Gologursky/WireImage)

Singer Kesha accused Lukasz Gottwald aka Dr. Luke of drugging and sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions.

(Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)

Former champion boxer Mike Tyson was convicted of raping a Miss Black America contestant in 1992. 

(REUTERS/Michael Clevenger/POOL)

Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has been accused of sexual abuse by dozens of his former patients and athletes.

(JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Music mogul L.A. Reid left his position as Epic Records CEO/Chairman in 2017 amid harassment claims by a female assistant.

(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price resigned following reports that he harassed a producer and ignored an actress' allegation of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein.

(Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)

Several women have accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping them during photo ops.

(REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

Chris Savino (right), creator of  'The Loud House' was suspended by Nickelodeon after being accused of making unwanted advances toward multiple women.

(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SCAD)

Actor Steven Seagal was accused of sexual misconduct by Inside Edition's chief investigative correspondent Lisa Guerrero.

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images,)

Michael Oreskes, senior vice president of news and editorial director of National Public Radio, was accused of inappropriate conduct with two women in 1990s.

(REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad)

Dustin Hoffman was accused of sexually harassing a production assistant when he was 48 and she was a high school senior.

(REUTERS/Stephane Mahe)

Jeremy Piven was accused by actress Ariane Bellamar of groping her on two separate occasions. Piven 'unequivocally' denied the allegations.

(REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Ben Affleck apologized for acting 'inappropriately' towards Hilarie Burton during an appearance on MTV's "Total Request Live" in 2003.

(REUTER/Dylan Martinez

Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman he went on a date with.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Andy Dick was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct on set, including groping people’s genitals, unwanted kissing/licking and sexual propositions.

(Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, (D) Nevada, was accused of making repeated, unwanted propositions for dates and sex to a woman that once worked on his campaign.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Actor Ed Westwick was accused by actress Kristina Cohen of raping her in his home.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

David Guillod, producer of 'Atomic Blonde,' is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several woman.

(Photo by Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images)

Andrew Kreisberg, the showrunner for "Supergirl," was suspended in November 2017 amid numerous sexual harassment allegations by members of his staff.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Actor Tom Sizemore was reportedly told to leave a film set in 2003 after an 11-year-old actress told her mother that he had touched her genitals.

(REUTERS/Phil McCarten)

Steve Jurvetson left his own venture capital firm after allegations of sexual harassment

(Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

A former model accused George Takei of sexually assaulting him 36 years ago.

(Photo by Tara Ziemba/FilmMagic)

Olympic gold medalist Hope Solo accused former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexually assaulted her at an award ceremony in 2013.

(REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

A former writer for 'Mad Men' said the show's creator Matthew Weiner told her that she owed it to him to let him see her naked.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Ron Jeremy has been accused of sexually assaulting more than a dozen women and the allegations span more than 30 years.

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Multiple women accused producer Adam Fields of touching them inappropriately and sexually propositioning them.

(Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has been accused of unwanted sexual advances by former staffers.

(Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

John Lasseter, the head of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, was accused of crossing the line with employees, including unwanted hugs.

(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Singer Nick Carter was accused of rape by a former member of the all-girl teen band Dream, Melissa Schuman.

(Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)

A singer accused billionaire Richard Branson of sexual assault during an event as his Necker Island in the Caribbean. Branson says he has no recollection of the matter.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Talent agent Adam Venit is accused of grabbing actor Terry Crews' genitals.

(Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Jeordie White (aka Twiggy Ramirez), Marilyn Manson former longtime bassist, was accused of rape by singer Jessicka Addams.

(Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli)

Lockhart Steele, Vox Media's editorial director was fired after a former employee accused him of sexual harassment.

(Photo by Hal Horowitz/WireImage for Haute Magazine)

Producer Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein's brother, has also been accused of sexual harassment. 

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

Jesse Lacey of  the band, Brand New, was accused of sexual misconduct, including soliciting nude photos from a teen girl in the past.

(Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Redferns)

Senior Correspondent for E! News Ken Baker California was accused of sexual harassment by two women.

(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

American film director Oliver Stone was accused of groping model and actress Carrie Stevens in the 1990s.

(Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)

Reporter Glenn Thrush was suspended by the New York Times after several women accused him of acting inappropriately when they were young journalists.

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Veteran radio host Garrison Keillor was fired by Minnesota Public Radio following claim of improper behavior.

(Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage)

CNN producer Teddy Davis was fired after multiple accusations of harassment.

(Photo via Twitter)

Producer Russell Simmons stepped down from his companies following sexual assault and harassment accusations from two women.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Longtime conductor James Levine was suspended by New York's Metropolitan Opera after sexual abuse claims.

(Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images)

Dylan Howard, editor in chief of the National Enquirer, was accused of sexual misconduct by several former employees, including forcing them to watch porn and openly discussing his sexual partners.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

"X-Men" director Bryan Singer was accused of raping a 17-year-old boy on a yacht in a lawsuit filed in December.

(REUTERS/Hannah McKay)

Harold Ford, Jr.

(Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Chef Mario Batali has been accused by multiple women of "inappropriate touching in a pattern of behavior that spans at least two decades."

(Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley's show was suspended amid misconduct allegations made against him.

(REUTERS/Fred Prouser)

Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb was fired from his job as an ESPN contributor amid accusations of sexual harassment by a wardrobe stylist at the network.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Sen. Jeff Klein (D-New York), was accused of forcibly kissing a former female staffer back in 2015. 

(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic)

Ross Levinsohn, Los Angeles Times CEO and publisher, has reportedly been a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits and would rate the "hotness" of his female colleagues, according to a report by NPR.

(Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A woman accused magician David Copperfield of drugging, sexually assaulting her when she was teen model in the 80s, according to The Wrap.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

James Franco was accused by several women of sexually inappropriate behavior. He was also criticized for wearing a "Time's Up" pin to the Golden Globes hours before the accusations against him surfaced.

(Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Barry Lubin, also known as Grandma the clown, resigned from Big Apple Circus after admitting to pressuring a 16-year-old girl into posing for pornographic photos in 2004.

(Photo by David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Arizona Wildcats head football coach Rich Rodriguez was fired amid troubling off-field allegations. His former administrative assistant says Rodriguez inappropriately grabbed and touched her. 

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

President Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was accused of sexual assault by pro-Trump singer Joy Villa. She claims he hit her on the buttocks during an event at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

(Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of peple. The Wall Street Journal the casino mogul regularly pressured employees to perform sex acts.

(REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Music exec and 'The Four' judge Charlie Walk was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee. Life Lab founder Tristan Coopersmith penned an open letter about Walk in January claiming he sent her lewd comment and cornered her in the bedroom he shared with his wife.

(Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Vh1 Save The Music)

Several women filed sexual harassment complaints against Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle, according to the Washington Post.

(Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Actor Scott Baio, was accused of molesting is former 'Charles in Charge' co-star Nicole Eggert when she was a minor.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Paris Dennard, GOP commentator

(Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ryan Adams performs at the Marriott Rewards and Universal Music Present Music is Universal during the South by Southwest Music Festival at JW Marriott Austin on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP)
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