LADY Gaga admitted she blamed herself for being raped at aged 19, while promoting documentary on campus rape, The Hunting Ground, at the Billboard's 10th Annual Women in Music event.
The Poker Face hitmaker bravely opened up to TalkTimes and said: "I didn't tell anyone for I think seven years.
"I didn't know how to even think about it, I didn't know how to accept it, I didn't know how to not blame myself or think it was my fault. It was something that really changed my life. It changed who I was completely.
"It changed my body, it changed thoughts."
She explained how she thought the sexual assault was her fault and why she hid it: "After it happened, I'm like 'But what did I do in my life to bring this upon myself?' There was some sort of maybe religious guilt attached to it that I had somehow inspired the violence.
"Because of the way that I dress, and the way that I'm provocative as a person, I thought that I had brought it on myself in some way - that it was my fault."
The singer, 29 - who joined a host of female perfomers at Cipriani on 42nd Street for the event, including Demi Lovato, Ciara and Selena Gomez - explained that the horrfic experience has now made her stronger.
She said: "When somebody says to me, 'Oh, that happened to you?' 'Oh, did that damage you?' I'm thinking to myself, 'You don't know who the f**k I am now! You don't want to meet me in an alleyway. What I've been through.
"You can own your pain and it can be a good part of you."
She continued: "I'm here because when I look out onto the sea of beautiful young faces that I get to sing and dance for, I see a lot of people who have secrets that are killing them.
"We don't want you to keep your pain inside and let it rot like an old apple on your counter, you know? It's like, just get rid of all that trash. Let's get rid of it together."
She was named Billboard's Woman of the Year and received the honour after an introduction by her mother, Cynthia Germanotta.
Accepting the award, Lady Gaga - real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta - told the crowd: 'It's really hard sometimes for women in music. It's like a f*cking boys club that we just can't get into.
"Women provide a wisdom to music that is very unique and special.
"It is a perspective no one else can have because we bear life. And because we go through things no one else goes through. And because it's right. Because we're all equal."
And for the people who didn't believe in her during her career, the fighter ended her speech with a message at the star studded evening saying: "I couldn't wait to prove you wrong."