Content warning: This story discusses suicide.
Now, the 24-year-old is speaking out about the lasting trauma she endured as a result of the massive privacy violation, which almost derailed her career, and how she almost took her own life in the aftermath.
"Many girls have committed suicide over this. I attempted to over this," the singer said on the Call Her Daddy podcast April 19. "I did attempt. Twice. I'm really grateful that I was obviously unsuccessful. But I think people need to understand that it's really serious and not something to joke about. My life was almost over. I almost died. I almost was dead because of all of this."
On her podcast and in her upcoming memoir, The Half of It, Madison recalled how the leak came to be. The pop star said on Call Her Daddy that at age 15, she sent a "boy that I liked from back home" nude videos of herself, some showing her at age 13 and 14, on Snapchat.
The singer never thought he would share the footage. "I just didn't think that the person I was sending this stuff to would remotely ever think to do something like that, because this was someone I'd known my whole life." she said. "So I was wrong. Obviously."
Friends began texting her to tell her they were sent videos of her. Despite her best efforts to trace the source of the leak, the footage soon ended up on the Internet.
"I'm just sitting and typing my name in quotation marks on Twitter to see everything people are saying about me and just refreshing in real-time. It was just everywhere," Madison recalled. "I felt like the whole world had seen this video. This is also the beginning of having, like real triggerable PTSD from the situation."
Madison received mixed opinions about her experience. "I didn't realize until like, years later that I was the victim in the situation," she said. "I've had people, of course, sympathize and be like, 'That's horrible,' But I've also had people be like, 'Who cares?'"
Others squarely placed the blame on her. As Madison said on the podcast, "I've seen tweets of people being like, 'Maybe you shouldn't have been dumb enough to send that to this person,' and 'Why would you do that?' I'm like, because I was a young girl with also an app called Snapchat that literally deletes the video after you send it. What's the harm in that?"
She added, "I was a young horny kid that liked to send videos to a guy that I liked. I'm not gonna let anyone shame me for it because it is what it is."
Madison has spoken out about her mental health struggles before and also previously addressed the nude video leak in 2020, when she tweeted about it for International Women's Day, giving her "14-year-old self" some advice. "Own your mistakes as a young [woman] learning about the world," she wrote. "Don't let them define you. Don't let them keep you in fear. Stay safe."