Jewel Says Grown Men Began Sexually Harassing Her at 8 Years Old
By Sophie Schillaci
Jewel's rise to music stardom wasn't easy, but she always kept her integrity intact.
"I never slept my way to the top, ever," she toldThe Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Thursday. "There was never one time that I've ever compromised anything. I was always willing to walk away."
Not that men didn't try. The 41-year-old is opening up about the years of sexual harassment she's endured, beginning at a shockingly young age.
"I've had men hitting on me, sadly, since I was really young," she said. "At 8, I had men putting dimes in my hands saying, 'Call me. It'd be so great to f*** when you're older.' And just horrible stuff."
Today, Jewel is a mom to 4-year-old Kase with her estranged husband, rodeo cowboy Ty Murray. The pair announced they were divorcing in 2014, but continue to remain close as they co-parent their son. As recently as February, the former couple reunited for a family vacation.
Jewel finds herself back in the spotlight as she releases Picking Up the Pieces on Friday, a follow-up to her breakout 1995 album, Pieces of You. The singer has also penned a new memoir, Never Broken, out Sept. 15.
She's come a long way since signing her first record deal at 18 years old. At the time, Jewel was living in her car.
"I've never been more propositioned by businessmen in my life," she told THR of that time period. "It was almost like they were sharks that could smell blood, like of vulnerability ... I'd go back to my car, writing songs, and men would literally come up and proposition me. They would be like, 'Hey, do you need rent money?' you know and things like that. It was pretty wild. I never took anybody up on it, but it was interesting to see this side of men that basically would prey on somebody vulnerable."
Jewel called on that experience recently, when she signed on as the ambassador for the ReThink initiative in 2013. She appeared in a powerful PSA at the time, raising awareness about the plight of those in need of a place to live.
"More than two million people in America rely on public housing to provide a home for their families," she said. "And there are at least half-a-million waiting for a safe place to live."