Lady Gaga usually steals a show with her killer vocals and her wild style, but on Sunday at the 88th Academy Awards, it was her message about sexual abuse that took center stage. That very message inspired actress Jaime King to come forward about her own painful past.
Gaga performed her song “Til It Happens to You,” co-written with Diane Warren for the CNN documentary Hunting Ground about sexual assault on college campuses. She was joined onstage by survivors of rape and abuse with powerful statements like “not your fault” and “survivor” written on their outstretched forearms.
King seized the moment to share her experience.
A few hours after the Oscars ended, King posted an Instagram photo of her as a 14-year-old. Her lengthy caption began by thanking all the people in her life who have given her strength to survive. She then went onto explain her journey toward opening up.
View this post on Instagram
SURVIVOR – Thank you @kyle_newman for loving me whole | My children | @lenadunham for her relentless bravery that always leads my Spirit to stand up| Dr. Randy Harris for YEARS of empathy | Michael Hayes @awaketolove ~ there are no words | Dr. Allan Phillips | @erikaklein | @ladygaga | #DianeWarren for breaking me whole last night and tonight| TS I love you for being there no matter what| Thank you to the only people I have told | Thank you to @damhave ~ you know why | Thank you @hooligandreamer| Thank you @amandadecadenet | Thank you to @unwomen & all organizations that have tirelessly worked to somehow comfort & make right | Thank you to myself to not choosing to not make this a cover story though that was what was suggested to me but to express from my heart to you all personally which felt the most honest way for me to speak | Thank you to my Soul, body, mind, emotions, my inner child, my younger self, I love you. It's a night of celebration, of change, of not being ashamed of your race, creed color, situation, circumstances and environment, or past. Now I am free, somewhat. Thank you for the switch that went off inside finally when I realized my silence said I cannot help nor change and that is not who I am. I love you all very much for creating a safe space. The time is now. I was about 14 here, it started at 12. Peace Be Still ❤️
King noted that she had been urged to make her past into a “cover story” but that she had instead waited to “express from my heart.” Perhaps the most jarring part of her post is the revelation that her sexual abuse started when she was 12 years old.
Lady Gaga, who has been a vocal supporter of embattled singer Kesha, voiced her support for King.
. @Jaime_King you are so brave to come forward, a warrior leading the way. I don't feel alone anymore watching this happen is unreal.— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) March 1, 2016
“Thank you my sister,” King replied. “There are no words for what your Soul [has] done for me. I love you.”