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.
I too have admitted Piers for the same reason as you, but when I saw this post about PTSD and the judgmental position he was taking with Lady Gaga & Madonna… I was enraged.
I have posted on Twitter just a bit of some things I have gone through in my 49 years of life.. burned in a fire at age 4, abused (including sexually) from age 6 though 13, raped at age 14, lost a child stillborn at 8 1/2 months. I could go on… I was in a rollover car accident, suffered several miscarriages, saw someone killed… If Mr. Piers doesn’t think that someone could possibly suffer PTSD in any other situation besides in a military one (no disrespect to our Armed Forces)… shame on him!!
Next, it took me telling a friend to tell someone about my abuse. I was, of course, being threatened and scared to death. Being it was the late 70’s/early 80’s not a whole lot was done for all the charges against my abuser… plea bargaining brought 3 years probation for each change to be served, concurrently. So when I was raped, I didn’t even bother reporting. I was 14 and in my mind and through my eyes… the law had failed me.
My innocence was lost, I was different, my family was destroyed… I never knew a “normal”
My struggle and fight has been long and daily. It has to do with trust, living, being happy and allowing love. The physical healing happened long ago… It’s the emotional and the mental. The sounds, smells…
Given the fact that even one false accusation of rape can make it hard for anybody else to feel that they’ll get taken seriously by the authorities when they report theirs, I can see why a lot of rapes go unreported. Given how even true accusations of rape are often met with counter-accusations of ‘s/he was asking for it with that outfit!’, and so on, it surprises me that anybody dares to report it at all. Thankfully, they do.
So, I can understand why Geena felt that the law had failed her. To be honest, it had.
Add to all that the fame and trappings of fame that Lady Gaga and Madonna have accrued (and the jealousy that THAT lot can ‘inspire’ amongst the arsehole fraternity), it’d be very hard for someone in their position to report such an offence.
I don’t feel as hopeful about Morgan as you do. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, along the dimensions of frequency, intensity and duration. Of late, his behaviour sounds alarm bells in me.