Content warning: this article about Alanis Morissette discusses sexual assault.
Alanis Morissette has said that she was the victim of multiple statutory rapes as a 15-year-old.
Speaking in a new documentary, Jagged, Morissette describes multiple incidents of sexual abuse she endured as a teenager. “It took me years in therapy to even admit there had been any kind of victimization on my part,” she said via Washington Post.
“I would always say I was consenting, and then I’d be reminded like ‘Hey, you were 15, you’re not consenting at 15.’ Now I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, they’re all pedophiles. It’s all statutory rape.’”
Morissette did not identify the alleged abusers. “I did tell a few people and it kind of fell on deaf ears,” she said.
“It would usually be a stand-up, walk-out-of-the-room moment. … You know, a lot of people say ‘why did that woman wait 30 years?’ And I’m like, fuck off. They don’t wait 30 years. No one was listening or their livelihood was threatened or their family was threatened.”
Morissette rose through the ranks of the music industry at 15. She signed to MCA Canada in 1990 and began recording her debut album Alanis, at 16.
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Elsewhere during the documentary, Alanis compared the interactions she had with older men in the industry, to the Dutch angle filmmaking technique. “Almost every single person that I would work with, there would be some turning point where the camera would go Dutch angle,” she said.
These interactions would “either end the relationship” or “then there’d be just some big secret that we’d keep forever.”
Elsewhere during the documentary, Morisette detailed the industry pressure she felt to stay thin. In one anecdote, the songwriter detailed that a male producer would count slices of cheese to ensure that she hadn’t eaten any.
Morissette has previously spoken out about sexual assault in the music industry. In an interview with The Sunday Times last year, she reflected on the #MeToo movement. “Almost every woman in the music industry has been assaulted, harassed, raped. It’s ubiquitous — more in music, even than film,” she said.
“What, sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll? By definition, it’s crass, sweaty, and aggressive. But it’s only a matter of time before it has its own explosion of stories.”
Jagged, a new, Alison Klayman-directed documentary that explores Alanis Morissette’s 1990s rise to stardom, premiered earlier this week.