Sia Says She Was "Suicidal and Relapsed and Went to Rehab" After Music Movie Backlash

Following the widespread backlash stemming from her controversial 2021 film Music, Sia recently opened up to the New York Times about her struggles in the aftermath.

By Kisha Forde Jan 20, 2022 9:18 PMTags
Watch: Sia Fires Back at Critics Over Autism Representation in "Music"

After facing widespread backlash for her directorial debut, Sia is opening up about the effects she says it had on her mental health.
The singer recently recalled her experience as part of a New York Times profile about friend Kathy Griffin, who she credits with being a support system following the debut of her 2021 film, Music. The Grammy nominee sparked substantial outrage from disability rights activists and viewers for casting actress and longtime collaborator Maddie Ziegler in the role of a non-verbal autistic teenager, and for the film's overall portrayal of autism.
"I was suicidal and relapsed and went to rehab," she told the publication, adding that Griffin—who also faced backlash in 2017 when she posed with a Halloween mask of Donald Trump's severed head—was someone who "saved her life."
Prior to the release of her movie, Sia initially defended her casting choice of Ziegler, telling a Twitter user that she "actually tried working with…a beautiful young girl non verbal on the spectrum," but said that the actress "found it unpleasant and stressful."

Stars Who Speak Out on Mental Health

Sia, as well as her project, came further under fire after it garnered two 2021 Golden Globes nominations—one for Best Musical or Comedy Motion Picture, and one for star Kate Hudson—just days before its release in early February. The singer subsequently addressed the ongoing controversy and apologized in a series of tweets before deleting her Twitter account on Feb. 4.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Prior to her recent experience, Sia has opened up about her sobriety journey, telling James Corden during a 2016 Carpool Karaoke episode, "I was a singer already for like 10 or 11 years to mediocre success and I was an alcoholic and a drug addict…and I sobered up and decided I didn't want to be an artist anymore because I was starting to get a little bit famous, and it was destabilizing in some ways. So I thought, what doesn't exist in pop music at the moment? And it was mystery."

But, Sia is still taking everything one step at a time, telling the HFPA in an interview last January that in addition to making new music, she would "work on relaxing, and my PTSD and my sobriety and my health."

If you or someone you know needs help, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.