Australian singer-songwriter Sia has opened up about the fierce public backlash she experienced after the release of her widely-panned film Music, revealing she was suicidal and entered rehab as a result.
The Adelaide-born Chandelier singer, 46, made her directorial debut with the film Music, starring actress Kate Hudson alongside Sia's protege Maddie Ziegler in the role of a non-verbal autistic child.
The film was widely panned by critics and flopped at the box office – and it was also met with a furious backlash from autism advocates, with tens of thousands of people signing online petitions condemning the film and demanding its Golden Globe nominations be revoked.
"The fact that Music has been nominated for two Golden Globes awards illustrates the complete disregard the entire entertainment industry has for inclusivity and minority representation," wrote Nina Skov Jensen and Rosanna Kataja, creators of one of the popular anti-Music petitions.
"It will only use autism as inspirational porn to make neurotypicals feel good about their supposed 'superiority'.
"Despite claiming her movie to be a 'love letter to caregivers and to the autism community', [Sia] is actually telling the autistic community that she doesn't care about them," they wrote.
As the backlash grew, Sia retreated from the public eye – her former manager Tim Clark noting at the time that the singer would "either be incredibly angry or else go back into herself and retreat".
Indeed, she was noticeably absent from last year's Golden Globes, despite the film she wrote, directed and produced scoring two nominations.
Now, Sia reveals the true scale of the personal crisis she went through in a New York Times profile of comedian Kathy Griffin, who she credits with helping her through the experience.
"I was suicidal and relapsed and went to rehab," Sia told the outlet. "She saved my life."
Sia has spoken openly about her mental health and substance abuse issues in the past.
In a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone she revealed that her moving 2004 ballad Breathe Me was written in the aftermath of a suicide attempt, and that she again tried to kill herself in 2010 but was rescued by a friend.
"There must have been a part of me that really wanted to live, because in that moment, I thought, 'There's a world out there and I'm not a part of it. But I might like to be,'" she said of the 2010 attempt.
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633 or text 234 (available 24/7)
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (12pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 or text 4202 (available 24/7)
• Anxiety helpline: 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY) (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.