Joe Jonas Dishes on Drugs, Demi Lovato, and More in New York Magazine Profile
Joe Jonas's purity ring is off!
Now that he's no longer part of a boy band with his brothers, the 24-year-old dishes on everything from his sex life to his drug use in a new article -- and he names names.
The first-person account, which appears on Vulture, shatters the pure-as-snow image Disney created for the singing siblings by talking about how he smoked pot with Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato when he was a teen, what really happened the night Demi was sent to rehab, and how -- promise-ring be damned! -- he lost his virginity at 20. Here are the highlights.....
1. Smoking Pot With Miley and Demi -- and Other Misadventures: When the Jonas Brothers split in October, there were rumors Joe was dealing with drug issues after being spotted with a noted sober companion. While he denied it, he does talk about getting high with Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, who orchestrated it.
"The first time I smoked weed was with Demi and Miley. I must have been 17 or 18," he said. "They kept saying, 'Try it! Try it!' so I gave it a shot, and it was all right. I don’t even smoke weed that often anymore. I was caught drinking when I was 16 or 17, and I thought the world was going to collapse. But I was in another country, and it was legal there. My 21st birthday, I fell down a flight of stairs. I was unconscious that time, and my whole team was scared to death that somebody was going to get a picture. Now I appreciate wine or a vodka-soda at the end of the day every once in a while."
2. He Never Wanted to Be the Poster Boy for Purity. Joe, who shared that he's "not religious in any way," said that the purity rings he and his brothers wore in their early days were more important to the people crafting their image than they were to him. He started wearing the ring at 10 or 11 as part of an abstinence program at church and, although his family left their church when he was 14, he just kept wearing it. A pushy reporter later put the bros on the spot about the rings and suddenly the siblings became the poster boys for abstinence.
"I remember this interview with this guy whose entire agenda was to focus on the rings," recalled Joe, who talked about the wholesome image Disney made him keep up while appearing on the network. "He kept pushing the subject, and when we insisted that we didn't want to talk about it, he told us, 'I can write whatever I want,' which terrified us.... We explained that we had made these promises to ourselves when we were younger. A few months later, it comes out that we're in some cult and that we're these little staged Mickey Mouse kids. People were coming up to us, saying, 'Thank you so much, I'm waiting because you guys are, too! And we just thought, No! That's not what we're about."
3. Vanessa Hudgens' Nude Photo Scandal Scared the $%#& Out of Him. The sexy photos the "High School Musical" star took of herself that landed on the web had an impact on him as well.
"We were working with Disney in 2007 when the Vanessa Hudgens nude-photo scandal happened," he remembered. "We heard that she had to be in the Disney offices for a whole day because they were trying to figure out how to keep her on lockdown. We'd hear execs talking about it, and they would tell us that they were so proud of us for not making the same mistakes, which made us feel like we couldn't ever mess up. We didn't want to disappoint anyone -- our parents, our fans, our employers -- so we put incredible pressure on ourselves, the kind of pressure that no teenager should be under."
4. Despite His Purity Ring, He Was a Typical Frisky Teen. While he lost his virginity when he was 20, "I did other stuff before then," he said. Like getting frisky -- in a car! -- with another unnamed Disney Channel star.
"I used to sneak out and hook up with this one girl in her car, and some rumor came out along the lines of: 'Teen pop star seen in the back of a car, in a parking lot, hooking up,' and the write-up was kind of explicit. I kept thinking, Oh my God, there's going to be video, there's going to be photos. The girl was also in the business, and we thought we were screwed because we were both working with Disney. It would have been the worst thing we could think of happening to us. But nothing ever came out," he said.
As for later losing his virginity to an unnamed person (though he dated Twilight's Ashley Greene at the age during which he said he lost it), he said, "I'm glad I waited for the right person, because you look back and you go, 'That girl was bats--t crazy. I'm glad I didn’t go there.'"
5. Ashley Greene Was His First Serious Gal Pal. Whether or not she was his "first," she was his first love.
"When I was 20, I started dating Ashley Greene, and she was my first serious relationship. We were together for almost a year," he said. "I was living out in L.A. by myself, and at the end of the day, long distance didn’t work. It's incredibly difficult. I did a cover story with Details acknowledging the relationship, and the day after it was on newsstands, we announced our breakup. That was just coincidence, but it's funny how that always happens, right? After Ashley, I took two or three years to just be single. I was hooking up and having fun. Now I'm with someone I really care about. We get each other."
6. So What Really Happened the Night Demi Went to Rehab. Joe claims he has no resentment toward any of his exes, including Demi, whom he briefly dated while she was dealing with substance abuse issues. He talked about that fateful night when, she was on tour with the Jonas Brothers, and punched one of the backup dancers. That night she was taken to rehab.
"We had been friends forever, we were both Disney kids, and because we played a couple in the 'Camp Rock' Disney Channel specials -- and fans liked seeing us together -- we eventually dated for a month," he said. "I really got to know her and got to see the ins and outs of what she was struggling with, like drug abuse. I felt like I needed to take care of her, but at the same time I was living a lie, because I wasn't happy but felt like I had to stay in it for her, because she needed help. I couldn't express any of that, of course, because I had a brand to protect."
The night she was taken to rehab "was an insane situation to be in," he said. "Things kept building up, and Demi ended up punching a girl in the face on a plane, because she thought the girl was blaming her for something. Everybody gasped, and the girl just started bleeding. That's when her team and her family told her, 'You need to go into rehab.' I remember being in South America, and fans immediately jumped to the conclusion that we kicked her off the 2010 tour, and they just hated on us for it."
7. The Jonas Brothers Split Was a Long Time Coming. "We hit a place where we just weren't jelling on the same things, and we didn't want to become a band that was worried about the fact that people didn't understand how cool we were," he said. "The whole situation was breaking us up as a family, and we ultimately felt like we were holding each other back. I wanted to go sexier with a video, for example, and Kevin wasn't comfortable with that, for his reasons. I mean, he's married, and I get that. Nick also had a louder voice than me and Kevin when it came to music and major decisions -- he took a leadership role in the band, which got to us after a while."
The brothers ended up having a screaming fight during which Nick suggested they go their own ways. Joe was initially hesitant and upset, but came around to the idea. Now, for the first time, he feels like he's in charge of his life. And that may mean his fans should expect the unexpected.
"Now that I'm 24 and have control of my life, I'm going back to the drawing board. I've been through a s--t-ton of stuff, but I'm genuinely excited because now I can go back to the studio with those people who I used to work with. I don’t have to rely on anyone else's opinion, whether good or bad, and hear them say, 'No, no, you can’t go write with them. That's too weird for us.' Because weird works. Look at Lorde."