Sorry not sorry: Pop star Demi Lovato in Israel row
The singer and actress, who according to Ynet sources received $150,000 for her trip, issued a lengthy apology for visiting the Holy Land, which she deleted shortly after; Lovato insists she accepted a free trip 'in exchange for a few social media posts'
The 27-year-old posted on her Instagram page - that boasts a whopping 77 million followers - a series of photos, lauding her experiences in the Holy Land during which the singer visited the Western Wall, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and the Jordan River where she was baptized.
Lovato also claimed that she wasn’t paid for the trip, but the sources tell Ynet the singer received some $150,000 for the visit with at least NIS200,000 ($57,253) of that money being paid by the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs, headed by Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin.
The rest of the sum was apparently paid by a private donor.
"I accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few posts,” Lovato wrote in the since deleted apology. “No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone," she wrote. "With that being said, I'm sorry if I've hurt or offended anyone, that was not my intention.”
The "Sorry Not Sorry" singer also said the visit was a “spiritual experience” and not a “political statement.”
"Sorry I'm not more educated, and sorry for thinking this trip was just a spiritual experience," she continued. "Going against all advice right now and apologizing because it feels right to me and I'd rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself, than staying quiet to please other people. I love my fans, all of them, from all over."
During her week-long trip, Lovato also visited the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee, Masada National Park and the city of Tel Aviv.
"I'm grateful for the memories made and the opportunity to be able to fill the God-sized hole in my heart. Thank you for having me, Israel," she wrote on her social media following the trip.
"There is something absolutely magical about Israel.”