Lady Gaga on Her Past: 'People Disrespected My Body, My Mind'

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Lady Gaga is very open when it comes to talking about her turbulent past.

And the Grammy-winning artist, 27, is responding to critics who question whether she's exaggerating her past sexual exploits and body issues.

See: The Many Faces of Lady Gaga

"I can't … share an honest story about my past, without someone asking me if I really, truly struggled," she told Elle in its October issue, on newsstands Sept. 24.

"Do you know how much dirt I ate? Do you know the men I had to crawl through, the people that disrespected my body, my mind, my heart?"

The singer, who's latest album "Artpop" drops Nov. 11, added that the pain she still carries is the reason her fans now know her as Lady Gaga instead of by her birth name - Stefani Germanotta.

"I am - Stefani is - a perpetually tortured artist," she added. "That's why I changed my name. I can't be her in public. She would be a mess!"

Related: Lady Gaga 'Kind of Insecure' at Start of Fame

Gaga told "Good Morning America" earlier this week that she was insecure during her rise to fame.

"I was actually going through a hard time during 'Born This Way (2011),'" she said. "I became a star really quickly, and I didn't have time to really put my feet in the ground and have a sense of myself through it all because it's like a machine."

Hence, the meat dress at the VMAs and her wearing of masks and other crazy outfits.

"There was a lot of me putting things on to hide that sadness," she said.