Selena Gomez speaks out on dating Justin Bieber: 'I do feel I was a victim to certain abuse'

In an interview this week with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Selena Gomez got extremely candid about her new album Rare, her mental health and the relationship she was in with Justin Bieber. The duo’s on-again-off-again relationship endured for years but ultimately ended in 2018.

On NPR, Gomez for the first time publicly discussed how that relationship left her feeling emotionally abused.

In candid interview, Selena Gomez discussed being a "victim to certain abuse" while dating Justin Bieber (pictured in 2011). (Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Asking about Gomez’s number-one hit “Lose You to Love Me,” Garcia-Navarro got the singer to confirm what fans have long speculated: that the song is about Bieber. After Gomez explained that the song was a goodbye song, Garcia-Navarro responded, “Saying goodbye to Justin Bieber, who I’m assuming you’re speaking about.” Gomez replied, “You had to get the name in, I get it.

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Gomez also went deeper into the dynamic with Bieber.

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheatre on July 22, 2012 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/TCA 2012/WireImage)

“I do feel I was a victim to certain abuse,” she shared.

“You mean emotional abuse?” Garcia-Navarro asked, to which Gomez replied, “Yes, and I think that it's something that — I had to find a way to understand it as an adult. 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.”

Last September, Bieber wrote an Instagram essay in which he spoke about how he “abused” relationships, particularly with the women in his life.

“I started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19 and abused all of my relationships,” he wrote, referring to a time when he was on-and-off with Gomez. “I became resentful, disrespectful to women and angry. I became distant to everyone who loved me.”

Of “Lose You to Love Me,” Gomez added that “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. 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.”