Growing up as a Disney star has some serious disadvantages. In a new essay in New York magazine, Joe Jonas opens up about the "pressure no teenager should ever be under" that he and his brothers endured in order to maintain their place in Disney's spotlight when they were growing up. Some of that pressure came from peers like Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, whom Joe says talked him into trying pot for the first time when he was "17 or 18." But more came from his position of early fame.
"Being a part of a company like that comes with certain expectations. Not overtly, but there was a subtle vibe. We were working with Disney in 2007 when the Vanessa Hudgens nude photo scandal happened," he recalls. "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."
That feeling also extended to his relationship with Demi Lovato. " I really got to know her and got to see the ins and outs of what she was struggling with, like drug abuse," he says. "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."