In an in-depth interview with NPR Sunday, the 27-year-old pop star opened up about the inspiration behind her new album, "Rare", including how her past relationships formed the basis for some of the lyrics.
When asked by NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro about her first single on the album, "Lose You to Love Me," Gomez began, "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."
"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," she added. "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."
Garcia-Navarro then pressed, "Saying goodbye to Justin Bieber, who I'm assuming you're speaking about." Gomez replied, "You had to get the name in, I get it."
The interviewer followed up by asking the singer if she looks "back on that time" and considers it as "one the harder parts" in her life that he's "kind of moved on from."
"No, because I've found the strength in it," Gomez replied, adding, "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."
Garcia-Navarro asked Gomez if she was speaking about "emotional abuse."
"Yes, and I think that it's something that -- I had to find a way to understand it as an adult," Gomez replied. "And I had to understand the choices I was making."
She continued, "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."
NPR reached out to Bieber for comment. TooFab has also contacted reps for the singer.
Gomez and Bieber famously had an on-again, off-again relationship, beginning in 2011 and ending with their last sighting together as an apparent couple in early 2018. Bieber went on to marry Hailey Baldwin later that same year in September.