This is not the Lele Pons you first met on Vine.
The world-famous influencer and singer’s experience with OCD, Tourette syndrome and more deeply personal struggles come to light in a new YouTube Originals series called The Secret Life of Lele Pons. In a sneak peek exclusive to E! News, Lele recalls coming face-to-face with several diagnoses at just 11-years-old.
Psychologist Dr. Katie Mortiz says she began treating Lele, now 23, after an “emergency situation” where she “got stuck in a car.”
“She was stuck turning on and off faucets,” explains Dr. Mortiz. “She couldn’t really function. They were struggling to get her to school, eat, sleep, do any of the basic activities that she needed to do.”
Lele, who says she continues to struggle with compulsive behaviors even today, then looks back at footage from therapy sessions.
“I just have to do it one more time!” Lele pleads with tears in her eyes. “I did it two times. I need to do it three.”
“When you have a condition that controls you most of the time, you wish you didn’t have that,” the YouTuber says, later adding, “I don’t know who that girl is. Well, obviously it’s me. It got really bad, and I don’t want it to get like that anymore.”
In a trailer for the five-part docuseries, which premieres today on Lele’s YouTube channel, she explains further, “I just had to touch everything, and if I didn’t touch everything I thought my family was going to die.”
Lele first found internet stardom on the defunct video platform Vine, where her unfiltered comedy sketches helped her become the first user to reach one billion views. Just five years after joining Vine, she’s amassed more than 60 million followers on her various social media accounts and is a prominent voice in the Latin music world.
Watch Lele’s journey unfold in the video above.