Lady Gaga recently admitted to the public that when she was 19, she was not only raped, but now suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) because of the incident. When an article about the subject came out, Journalist and television personality Piers Morgan responded with “No, soldiers returning from battlefields do. Enough of this vain-glorious nonsense”.
He went on to say that he was skeptical of Lady Gaga’s (and Madonna’s) claims that a rape took place.
“I would treat everything either of them says with a pinch of PR salt” he said.
I like Piers Morgan. I’ve been following his writing for a while. As a writer myself, I admire both his writing skills and his courage to stand by his opinions no matter how unpopular they may be. I’ve agreed with a lot of what he has said.
But, this statement did not sit well with me.
Piers stated that Lady Gaga never went to police, never named names or reported this incident before, and that was the reason he felt these allegations were being put forth in an effort to garner attention. This is the same person who weeks earlier, impressed me so greatly for standing up to Eric Bristow on Good Morning Britain regarding young footballers who came forward saying they were abused.
Bristow questioned why the young boys didn’t come forward at the time it was happening and that it was cowardly.
Piers gave Bristow a piece of his mind, standing up for the victims.
So you can imagine my confusion when Lady Gaga revealed what she went through. So, I asked Piers about his comments myself. Here’s what he had to say:
From my understanding of his tweet, it seems that Piers is saying if you don’t eventually report your rape or assault, that it’s not to be believed.
He went on to respond to another person saying he doesn’t believe all allegations of rape should be taken as fact without an investigation.
Here’s the thing. Have women lied about being raped in the past? Yes. Is it an awful thing to do to ruin someone’s reputation by stating things that didn’t happen? Of course.
But Piers, I implore you to consider, is this the angle you really want to take?
What evidence do we have to suggest that Lady Gaga is lying? Lady Gaga is an incredibly talented and driven woman who rose to success based on these factors. Her versatility as an artist is what has brought her attention. Now, she is using her platform to come forth and speak out about something that unfortunately happens to an American every 2 minutes: Sexual assault.
This is a problem that is happening not just on the streets, but in homes, schools, and it could happen to your neighbor, friend, loved one. Lady Gaga is ending the silence on this, giving others courage and a feeling that they are not alone. She’s given them a voice. What is the harm in this?
Why now, Piers, did you decide it to be a good time to suggest the fact she might be lying about it? Lady Gaga may have not reported her incident, and she hasn’t given a name. Thus, she’s not putting anyone’s reputation on the line. She’s speaking on a mental illness that she has been affected by. And sadly, for every person who summons the courage to speak out about this unfortunately common occurence, how many more do not come forward for fear of reactions like yours?
The bottom line is this, and here’s my question to you, Piers. What if it’s true? What if this DID happen to Lady Gaga, and what if every day with PTSD is a struggle for her? And who are we to dismiss her experiences? I know if it were me in that situation, I’d want some compassion. Also, I’d rather err on the side of accepting these claims and supporting a victim than making the (unfair, in my opinion) judgement that it’s a lie. Piers, what side would you rather come out on in the end?
I continue to admire you, Piers, for your talents and for speaking your mind. But don’t be irresponsible. You, like Gaga, have a huge platform. I’d like to see you encourage victims of sexual assault that it will be OK, that they are not alone, rather than scold them for not handling it in the way you think it should be handled. I have faith that you’ll make the right choice.