Jade Roper was moved by Lady Gaga’s emotional Oscars performance of the song “Til It Happens To You” so much so that she was prompted to reveal to fans that she was raped in high school. After Gaga’s powerful performance of her Academy Award-nominated song at the 88th Oscars ceremony, in which the singer was joined on stage by 50 sexual assault survivors, The Bachelor alum took to Instagram to detail her own personal experience with rape.
In her post, Roper wrote that she was “terrified” to share her story with fans, but that she wanted to finally be free of the terrible secret that she has been hiding for more than 12 years.
In a post titled “Why Lady Gaga’s Performance Was the Most Important Part of the Oscars,” Jade wrote that, before the singer took the stage to perform the song, which was co-written by Diane Warren and was featured in the college rape documentary, The Hunting Ground, she told an entertainment reporter the sobering statistics on rape. Jade revealed that her husband was shocked by the fact that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused or assaulted by the time they graduate from college.
“Tanner was surprised by these numbers. Sadly, I was not. I am a part of that statistic.”
Jade, who recently wed her Bachelor In Paradise co-star Tanner Tolbert, added that she has only shared the story of her rape with a few people and that not even her family knew about it — until now. Roper wrote that when she saw all of the survivors of sexual assault bravely stand up during Lady Gaga’s powerful performance, she was overcome with emotion
“I’ve only shared my story with but a few, not even my family knows. But when I saw Gaga fill the whole room with emotion as she sang with conviction and urgency, as I saw survivors of sexual assault bravely stand up there showing the world that what happened to them does matter, tears streamed down my face.”
While the movie The Hunting Ground focuses on rape and sexual assault in college, Roper wrote that “high school can be just as dangerous.”
“The movie The Hunting Ground features stories of sexual assault in college, but I think high school can be just as dangerous. I was raped just shy of my 17th birthday.”
Jade detailed a story of a difficult high school life. Roper wrote that she went to a high school party and was drinking with a mixed group of friends. After her female friends left her alone with some boys that they all knew, two of the boys raped her.
“I remember it getting late and I needed to be home for my curfew. I remember one guy holding me down while another got on top of me. I remember them driving me home and my parents were gone, driving around town looking for me. When my parents got home, my dad said he found me in my room on the floor in my underwear, mumbling to him I wasn’t innocent anymore. I was a virgin.”
Jade revealed that the morning after the rape she found bruises on her legs, and when she called one of the guys to confront him about the attack, he denied that it had happened. Roper also added that the other boy involved had been a close friend and that she was too afraid to confront him over what happened.
“I never opened up to my parents about what happened, I was afraid of what they would think of me— or worse, that they wouldn’t care at all. My family was really good at sweeping issues under the rug.”
Like many rape victims, Jade Roper believed that she deserved it. The Bachelor alum felt that she wasn’t worth being loved, and she became depressed and consumed with self-loathing. While she even considered harming herself several time after the rape, Jade later coped by just hiding her emotions. The reality star added that it has been “a long road to healing” for her, but that the “Til It Happens To You” performance gave her the “courage to speak about my story, a story that’s been trapped inside me for over 12 years.”
“Sharing my story sheds a little more light in a very dark part inside of me. I am not chained to this experience, it doesn’t have to control my life. This happened to me and it matters. I matter. And I am worthy of love. …I hope that sharing my experience will help girls and women know that they are not alone. And that you have to voice things in order for things to change. And always always always: You matter.”
Jade Roper was not the only celebrity who was deeply affected by Lady Gaga’s song at the Oscars. Kesha, who is currently involved in a lawsuit in which she accused music producer Dr. Luke if drugging and raping her as a teen, tweeted that the song hit very close to her heart.
In addition, actress Jaime King revealed that she was also a victim of sexual abuse when she thanked Gaga for her performance and described herself a a survivor of “years of abuse as a minor in the industry.”
Take a look at the video to see the performance that inspired Jade Roper to share her secret with fans.
[Photo By Araya Diaz/Getty Images for American Humane Association]