While speaking with NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro, the 27-year-old singer shared that she believed she was a victim of emotional abuse while dating Bieber.
Because of Bieber and Gomez’s on-and-off relationship over the last decade, many of her fans were convinced that many of the lyrics from her song Lose You To Love Me were direct references to the former couple’s relationship.
Gomez confirmed to Garcia-Navarro that the song was about Bieber.
“I’m very proud of it,” she said. “It has a different meaning to me now from when I wrote it. I felt I didn’t get a respectful closure, and I had accepted that but I know I needed some way to just say a few things that I wish I had said. It’s not a hateful song; it’s a song that is saying I had something beautiful and I would never deny that it wasn’t that.
“It was very difficult, and I’m happy it’s over,” she continued. “And I felt like this was a great way to just say, you know, it’s done, and I understand that and I respect that, and now here I am, stepping into a whole other chapter.”
“Saying goodbye to Justin Bieber, who I’m assuming you’re speaking about,” Garcia-Navarro said.
“You had to get the name in, I get it,” Gomez responded.
When asked if getting over the relationship with the Canadian pop star was difficult, Gomez said: “No, because I’ve found the strength in it. It’s dangerous to stay in a victim mentality. And I’m not being disrespectful. I do feel I was a victim to certain abuse—”
“You mean emotional abuse?” Garcia-Navarro asked Gomez.
“Yes, and I think that it’s something that — I had to find a way to understand it as an adult,” Gomez said. “And I had to understand the choices I was making. As much as I definitely don’t want to spend the rest of my life talking about this, I am really proud that I can say I feel the strongest I’ve ever felt and I’ve found a way to just walk through it with as much grace as possible.”
Gomez and Bieber broke up in March 2018.
Bieber hasn’t responded to Gomez’s claims of emotional abuse, but he released a statement in August about his struggles with depression and use of “heavy drugs.”
Bieber admitted that he started doing “pretty heavy drugs” at the age of 19 and “abused” all of his relationships.
“I started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19 and abused all of my relationships,” he wrote. “I became resentful, disrespectful to women, and angry. I became distant to everyone who loved me, and I was hiding behind a shell of a person that I had become.
“I felt like I could never turn it around. It’s taken me years to bounce back from all these terrible decisions, fix broken relationships, and change relationship habits,” the Sorry singer wrote.
Gomez released a statement when she first released Lose You To Love Me in October.
“This song was inspired by many things that have happened in my life since releasing my last album,” Gomez said at the time. “I thought it was important to share the music, as I know many can relate to the fact that the road to self-discovery generally comes through the scars in one’s life.
“I want people to feel hope and to know you will come out the other side stronger and a better version of yourself.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.