Demi Lovato seemingly suggested her previous romance with Wilmer Valderrama was a result of her “daddy issues”.
In conversation with Howard Stern on his eponymous SiriusXM radio show, the former Disney Channel star spoke candidly of her relationship with the actor 12 years older. Lovato, 31, expressed uneasiness over having been intimate with men years beyond her age at the time and called these relationships “gross”.
“I think what I went through is that I had a phase of dating older men and dating older guys,” the pop singer noted. “I went through a phase when I was attracted to older guys because of my daddy issues, obviously.”
Though Lovato didn’t reference her past with Valderrama specifically, he was one of the more well-known men she dated who was significantly older. The two TV stars were in an on-and-off relationship from 2010 to 2016. When they began seeing each other, Lovato was only 18 years old and the That 70s Show cast member was 30 years old.
“For me, I was a teenager. I think that when you’re in those development[al] years, you should absolutely not be with somebody that is older than you by that much,” the “Heart Attack” performer told Stern. “It’s just unhealthy and toxic.”
Lovato and Valderrama officially met when the Sonny with a Chance lead was 17, according to her account in the 2017 documentary Simply Complicated. She recalled: “I met him on January 11 of 2010, and it was at a PSA shoot at his house for the 2010 census forms. 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. But [when] I met him and I laid eyes on him for the first time, I was in hair and makeup and he came in and sat down and I was like, ‘I love this man and I have to have him,’” Lovato continued.
For the “La La Land” creator, their first encounter was “love at first sight”. She spoke highly of their connection in the documentary released after their official split. Lovato confessed to having given the NCIS actor a piece of her heart, and he would always remain in hers.
In the film, she pointed out: “You don’t share six years with somebody and not give them a piece of your heart and vice versa. I’m pretty sure I am not going to meet anybody that compares to him, but I’m trying to keep an open heart and an open mind when it comes to that.”
Following the release of her song “29” from the 2022 album Holy Fvck, fans thought she might not be so fond of her time spent with Valderrama, assuming the lyrics were about him. In the song, she sings to an individual and refers to how they were 29 “at the time.” “Thought it was a teenage dream / just a fantasy / But was it yours or was it mine?” the lyric reads.
Speaking to Stern, Lovato indicated that she no longer carried the weight of her “daddy issues” anymore. “I can say with confidence that my daddy issues aren’t anything that are inside of me anymore,” the songwriter proclaimed. “And I think there’s a few signs to that. I’m with a partner that is my age, essentially.”
Lovato began dating Jordan Lutes, a music producer, in 2022. Of their relationship, she remarked: “We’re growing together and it feels so healthy.”