American singer/songwriter Jewel says she has battled sexual harassment her entire life, revealing she was once propositioned at the age of eight by a man who urged her to call him when she was old enough to have sex.
The Standing Still singer, 41, admits she’s had her fair share of music industry cranks attempt to get her into bed, but she was prepared for the seedy side of fame thanks to her upbringing in Alaska.
“I’ve had men hitting on me, sadly, since I was really young,” she says.
“At eight, I had men putting dimes in my hands saying, ‘Call me. It’d be so great to f**k when you’re older’. And just horrible stuff,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
As disturbing as that was, it prepared her for her big break at 18, when men came out of the shadows at gigs and into the studios and attempted to seduce her.
“I never slept my way to the top ever. There was never one time I’ve ever compromised anything. I was always willing to walk away … and I think that type of spirit that you bring just informs everybody that’s around you,” she said.
“I learned to keep my energy to myself where there’s nothing about me that seemed approachable. And as men did approach me, I got very good at handling men in a way that sort of didn’t anger them … And at the same time using wit and usually humour to defuse the situation and to inform them, ‘PS Not available that way’.
“You know, I’ve heard plenty of stories that the opposite happens. I saw what women would give up for a compliment. I felt men were willing to take advantage if they saw something vulnerable.”
Jewel touches on stories about the sick men, who would go to extremes to bed her, in her new memoir, Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story, which will be released on September 15.