The Real Reason Demi Lovato Left Disney’s 'Sonny With a Chance'

Fans were crushed when Demi left, and the real reason why she left the show may shock you.

Sarah Walsh - Author

Mar. 6 2024, Updated 9:21 a.m. ET

Demi Lovato
Source: Instagram/ @ddlovato @

Demi Lovato Signs Pictures

Content warning: This article mentions eating disorders and substance abuse.

In Disney's beloved series Sonny With a Chance, Demi Lovato lit up the screen with her infectious charm and boundless talent. As Sonny Munroe, Demi brought a perfect balance of humor and heart to the show, effortlessly winning the hearts of audiences worldwide.

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Once a darling of the Disney Channel, Demi has since left the show and bared her soul in a poignant interview, shedding light on the tumultuous journey she had during her years as a teen star. In a heartfelt conversation with Bustle, Demi delved deep into the harrowing battles she faced with eating disorders, shedding light on the toxic culture perpetuated by her management team and the entertainment industry at large.

Demi Lovato says she left the Disney show because the industry supported her eating disorter.

Demi Lovato in 'Sonny With a Chance'
Source: IMBD

Demi Lovato in 'Sonny With a Chance'

Reflecting on her time in the spotlight, Demi paints a vivid picture of the normalization of unhealthy behaviors within the television industry. From the substitution of traditional birthday cakes with "watermelon with fat-free whipped cream" to the relentless pressure to adhere to unrealistic beauty standards, the actress’s revelations offer a sobering glimpse into the darker side of fame.

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It's a reality she grappled with throughout her formative years. Following an altercation with a backup dancer that prompted her to seek treatment, Demi faced a critical crossroads: to either retreat into silence and return to the confines of Disney Channel or boldly confront her demons in the hopes of sparking change. She chose the latter.

Demi chose to share her story and shatter the facade of perfection on her podcast— offering a raw, unfiltered glimpse into the realities of her mental health struggles.

Demi Lovato nearly died of a drug overdose in 2018.

Despite her courageous efforts to address her eating disorder and prioritize her well-being, Demi's journey was fraught with setbacks.

The specter of addiction loomed large, leading to a serious battle with opioid addiction. After multiple life-threatening drug-related incidents, Demi suffered from a near-fatal overdose in 2018. The impact of the experience had a negative effect on her mental health for years. She said, "I wasn't experiencing life. I ultimately was in this walking coma, where I wasn't feeling any pain but I also wasn't feeling any joy."

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Yet, through the darkness, Demi emerged with a newfound clarity and resilience, determined to rewrite the narrative of her life on her own terms.

She expressed her desire for a career untethered from the shackles of her physical appearance — a career defined by her music, her lyrics, and her message. It's a sentiment that resonates deeply with fans who have witnessed her evolution from a Disney darling to a trailblazing icon unafraid to speak her truth.

Source: Instagram/ @ddlovato

Demi Lovato Smiling

So, there you have it: Demi left the hit Disney show Sonny With a Chance to focus on herself and her health. Although it took her many years to get there, she is finally free from eating disorders and substance abuse.

Her journey serves as a testament to the human spirit and offers hope for all those grappling with their own inner demons. As she continues to chart her course with courage, one thing remains abundantly clear: Demi Lovato is not just a survivor — she's a force to be reckoned with.

If you or someone you know needs help, use SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to find support for mental health and substance use disorders in your area or call 1-800-662-4357 for 24-hour assistance.

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