The aspiring model — who escaped the so-called House of Horrors in 2018 — opens up about receiving support from the musician in a new interview with PEOPLE
"I did meet her this year, and she's so sweet. I actually met her with my sister Jeanetta. We went to go have lunch together," Turpin — who helped her siblings escape the so-called House of Horrors in 2018 — tells PEOPLE exclusively.
While she's keeping details of their initial conversation private, Turpin, 23, says Lovato has remained in her life through a difficult year.
"She's actually really kind of been here for me. In the beginning of the year, it was rough, and she was somebody that was there for me out of just the few people. It was really sweet," says Turpin, adding that Lovato — who has publicly shared her own experiences with abuse — is "so strong."
When they first met, Turpin was also taken aback by how youthful Lovato, 31, looked in person.
"When I met her in person, she looks younger than she looks on TV!" says the aspiring model, who launched a merch line called Braveness on her birthday (the "Doing My Best" hoodie is available for purchase through Nov. 27). "She looked so young and beautiful.'"
Connecting with Lovato was one of the highlights of Turpin's year, during which she has struggled, at times, with her mental health.
But in the last few months, "it's been really good because I've really learned so much about mental health [and] why everything has affected me the way it affected me," she says.
With ongoing therapy and new coping skills, "I've been getting up early, going to bed early," she says. "I feel healthy. I feel good. I feel like I've really just learned to work with my pain and stuff."
Living in a new house with her four puppies and four guinea pigs, Turpin is looking forward to a fresh start in the new year to pursue her passions.
"I want to get [more] into modeling, and something exciting I want to do next year is maybe a little acting," she says.
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Read the original article on People.