Lady Gaga reveals engagement during emotional speech about her experience with sexual assault

By Meaghan Wray

Lady Gaga has had one of her biggest years yet with the critical acclaim of her first silver-screen project, A Star Is Born . The star’s rise to fame, including her entry into Hollywood, has always been supported by fans who admire her courage and honesty. As she was honoured at ELLE’s Women in Hollywood event on Monday night (Oct. 15), the “Born This Way” singer showed the world just how brave she is – while also announcing her next big project.

Watch her full speech below…

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, which saw the fall of many celebrity men accused of sexual violence, women in and out of the industry have come forward with their own stories. The 32-year-old powerhouse – who dazzled in an oversized Marc Jacobs suit that evening – opened up about her own struggle with her mental health. “As a sexual assault survivor by someone in the entertainment industry, as a woman who is still not brave enough to say his name, as a woman who lives with chronic pain, as a woman who was conditioned at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today I wear the pants.”

She continued, while fighting back tears: “In an age where I can barely watch the news, I gasped at the unjust men, and some women quite frankly, that I see running this country. I had a revelation that I had to be empowered to be myself today more than ever. To resist the standards of Hollywood, whatever that means. To resist the standards of dressing to impress. To use what really matters: my voice.”

Lady Gaga announced her engagement to Christian Carino. Photo: © Getty Images

Right before she began her speech, the “Edge of Glory” singer gave her friend Jennifer Lopez a tight hug, already beginning to cry. Lady Gaga clearly felt supported by the women in the room, as she continued to share her experience with assault: “After I was assaulted when I was 19, I changed forever. Part of me shut down for many years. I didn’t tell anyone. I avoided it myself, and felt shame even still today standing in front of you. I feel shame for what happened to me. I still have days where I feel like it was my fault.” Though the topic of her speech was not necessarily a happy one, despite showing an immense amount of strength, she did sprinkle in some good news by confirming her engagement to Christian Carino , her boyfriend since Feb. 2017. Gaga referred to him as “my fiancé, Christian” while thanking people in her speech.

After the speech, which likely left not a dry eye in the room, the GRAMMY winner – who has garnered major Oscar buzz for her role as Ally in A Star is Born – was lovingly comforted by industry friends like her American Horror Story co-star Sarah Paulson, who wiped away a tear.

Sarah Paulson wiped away a tear. Photo: © Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine

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