Demi Lovato on Rekindling Friendship with Nick Jonas: 'I Had to Have Some Time Sober Before I Wasn't Embarrassed'
Demi Lovato jokes she had PTSD after leaving her Disney days behind
The longtime best friends, both 23, opened up in a new interview about starting their Disney careers side-by-side, the challenges that tore them apart and how they mended their strong bond.
“We joked around that it was Disney High, except we all were shooting shows and really overworking,” Lovato tells Billboard about their introduction on Camp Rock. “I joke that I sometimes have PTSD after leaving the channel, because if my schedule starts to get too busy, I rebel and I get bitchy…”
Jonas touched on his relationship status since ending his two-year relationship with model Olivia Culpo in January 2015. “I’m in a bizarre time in my life where I’m single, but that has been tricky,” he admits.
What does his old Disney pal have to say about it?
“He’s a guy in his 20s and he’s famous and he likes to have a lot of fun,” says Lovato. “Listen, even when he was in a relationship, I was like, ‘Get out of that. You could f— anybody that you want right now, so have fun and do that.'”
The “Cool for the Summer” singer, who split with Wilmer Valderrama in June after six years of dating, says a relationship just isn’t in the cards at the moment for her, either.
“It’s not on my mind, but I welcome anything,” Lovato says of her relationship status. “Anything” includes a brief fling with MMA fighter Guilherme Vasconcelos and reportedly a dinner date with New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.. “I’ll have fun. But a relationship … I won’t want that for a long time.”
While living a life of luxury in the spotlight has its upsides, Lovato lived through dark days. She fought a hard battle of addiction and mental illness in her younger years, and parted ways with Jonas after she had a scuffle with her dancer during the 2010 Jonas Tour, where she was also performing.
“I distanced myself as I was getting involved with self-destructive things,” she admits now. And while it was clear Lovato desperately needed to seek help, Jonas was fuming, fearing that the band would be sued.
“I mean, it was bad,” he says. “On top of losing a friend, we have seven dates left, it’s a big production, people are expecting to see Demi and that’s not going to happen.”
The pair were eventually able to reconcile, but it took some time for the wounds to heal. “After treatment, I had to have some time sober before I wasn’t embarrassed to talk to him. The first time we saw each other since that tour was my [2012 Los Angeles] concert at the Greek [Theater]. We caught up right before the show, then performed. It was an emotional reunion – I got one of my best friends back.”
After four years of maintaining her sobriety, Lovato draws on her personal experience to fight for mental health reform in a very active way. “When I went through my s—, I realized it was for a reason – to make a difference,” she says. “I can share my story a million times, but it’s not as tangible as going to Capitol Hill.”
It also helped influence her decision to buck her conservative upbringing and endorse Hillary Clinton for president. “Hillary is in support of mental health care and, yeah, I’m a Democrat.”
Though Jonas hasn’t revealed who will get his vote, he’s very vocal when it comes to protecting LGBTQ and transgender rights. During Jonas and Lovato’s July 2 show in Orlando, the performers paid tribute to the victims of the tragic Pulse Nightclub shooting – one of the worst acts of violence against the gay community.
Though his speech was met with accusations of “queer baiting” from some concert-goers, Jonas remains defiant. “I wouldn’t change a thing,” he says. “That’s a moment – and in general the time we’re in in this country – where unity, support and raising our hand and saying we can make change is what’s important, so it’s a shame when people make it about something else.”