"I'm not being disrespectful, I do feel I was a victim to certain abuse."

By Alicia Brunker
January 27, 2020
Singers Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez in 2011
KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES

While Selena Gomez has hinted in the past that her on-again, off-again relationship with Justin Bieber was a toxic one, she's never come right out and said it — until now.

In her most candid interview to date with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Selena opened up about how she came to realize that she was a victim of emotional abuse while dating Justin Bieber, before they officially ended things for good in 2018.

Asking about the inspiration behind the number one song on her new album, "Lose You to Love Me," Garcia-Navarro first managed to get Selena to explicitly confirm that the track is about Justin.

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"I'm very proud of it. It has a different meaning to me now from when I wrote it. I felt I didn't get a respectful closure, and I had accepted that, but I know I needed some way to just say a few things that I wish I had said," Gomez explained about the single. "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."

"Saying goodbye to Justin Bieber, who I'm assuming you're speaking about," Garcia-Navarro pried further, to which Selena conceded: "You had to get the name in, I get it."

She then asked Selena if moving on from Justin was one of the more difficult times of her life. "No, because I've found the strength in it," the songstress replied. It's dangerous to stay in a victim mentality. And I'm not being disrespectful, I do feel I was a victim to certain abuse—"

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Clarifying Selena's claim, Garcia Narvarro asked: "You mean emotional abuse?"

"Yes, and I think that it's something that — I had to find a way to understand it as an adult," Gomez admitted. "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."

Bieber didn't provide comment to NPR, however, in the past, the pop star has admitted to abusing drugs and his past relationships during a time when he was dating Gomez.

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"I started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19 and abused all of my relationships," he wrote in candid Instagram post back in August. "I became resentful, disrespectful to women, and angry. I became distant to everyone who loved me, and I was hiding behind a shell of a person that I had become. I felt like I could never turn it around. It’s taken me years to bounce back from all of these terrible decisions, fix broken relationships, and change relationship habits."

Bieber has sought help for his issues before marrying Hailey Baldwin last year. As for Selena, she has also moved on, but is happy being single at the moment.

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This article originally appeared on InStyle.com

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