Demi Lovato’s eighth studio album “Holy F—” is set to release on Aug. 19, and some fans suspect that provocative lyrics from one of its leaked songs titled “29” are directed at the singer’s former long-term boyfriend, Wilmer Valderrama.
In the leaked snippet of “29,” Lovato lyricizes, “Petal on the vine / Too young to drink wine / Just five years of bleeders, student and a teacher / Far from innocent / What the f—’s consent? / Numbers told you not to / But that didn’t stop you.” The song continues, “Thought it was a teenage dream, just a fantasy / But was it yours or was it mine?”
These lines sound like a scathing indictment of Valderrama’s character. However, Lovato did an interview with Ryan Seacrest in 2015 that seems to conflict with the narrative that her ex took advantage of her.
She recalled being “extremely attracted” to him when they first met (“Who isn’t?”). “I’m not shy to dating older men…And [Wilmer] was like ‘Woah, slow down, you’re too young,’” the 22-year-old disclosed to Seacrest.
Lovato reminisced about her 6-year-long relationship with Wilmer in her autobiographical documentary Simply Complicated (2017). The now 42-year-old actor met the Disney darling in Jan. 2010 while on set for a census participation PSA. At that time, she was still 17 years old, and Valderrama was 29 (hence the song title).
“To be honest, I only did it because I heard it was at his house and I thought he was really cute. I didn’t really care about the census forms,” then 25-year-old Lovato confessed.
“I laid eyes on him for the first time…and I was like, ‘I love this man and I have to have him.’ But I was only 17, so he was like, ‘Get away from me.’ After I turned 18, we began dating.” The “Sorry Not Sorry” songstress believed it was “love at first sight.”
Between clips of the pair laughing and embracing one another, she explained that their split was decided mutually and “had nothing to do with falling out of love. We decided together that we’re probably just better as friends.” At the time of the tell-all documentary’s release, they remained on amicable terms, and Lovato expressed only the fondest memories of their time together – until now.
Why Lovato waited this long to publicly express discomfort with their 12 year age gap remains a mystery. It’s especially puzzling when contrasted with the cavalier way she always addressed it in the past, suggesting the taboo of their age difference was a mere footnote in their love story.
Lovato even declared that her heart will always be with Wilmer, and she was pretty sure she was never “going to meet anybody that compares to him.” So, why the sudden change of tune?
If Demi’s recollection of how they met and started dating is accurate, Wilmer doesn’t seem to be the one who initially pursued a romantic relationship. Wilmer should be held to account if he did, in fact, coerce the actress into a relationship before she was an adult. Ambiguous song lyrics aren’t the appropriate way of resolving a dispute of such a serious nature.
Once this song gets released, gossip about their controversial age gap will run rampant. If #MeToo serves as a blueprint, rumors will skew in Lovato’s favor and the court of public opinion will condemn Valderrama without affording him a chance to defend his reputation. If Lovato harbors vindictive feelings toward her ex, she may have just hatched the perfect plan to exact revenge.