Jewel is opening up about the sexual harassment and misogyny that has followed her during her entire career.
The story goes that Jewel got her start in the music industry after giving it all up to live in her career and pursue her dream, but she said the male journalists in the ’90s spun the story from the truth.
“My whole career, the slant that the media gave it was through a really, I dare say, patriarchal lens,” Jewel told Stereogum.
“You think of my origin story, right? The whole world knows I lived in my car. They think because I was fighting for my dream of music. That is an absolute misrepresentation of what happened. I was living in my car because I wouldn’t have sex with my boss,” she explained. “I refused to be leveraged and he wouldn’t give me my paycheque and I couldn’t pay my rent and I started living in my car and then my car got stolen and I was homeless because of that, because I wouldn’t bang a boss.”
Jewel said that at the time people didn’t “even have the ears to hear it.”
“That’s not why I lived in my car,” Jewel continued. “I was not even thinking I would be a musician. I was trying to figure out how to stand up for myself, how to refuse to be leveraged for anything or anyone. It was an active defiance, it was an act of courage.”
Jewel named some of the sexist questions she would be asked like “how do you give a blowjob with those f**ked up teeth?”
“I remember South Carolina live on air, ‘Hey, you may have heard me describe my next guest as a large-breasted woman from Alaska. Jewel, how are you?’” Jewel said. “I said, ‘You must be the small penis man I’ve heard so much about from South Carolina.’ Escorted out of the radio station. Like, that was just life.”
Jewel also called out MTV News’ Kurt Loder, who was dismissive of her poetry collection.
“He was just a d**k. What an a** to show himself like that,” Jewel said, claiming Loder never apologized. “It was almost that thing where you’d feel sorry for somebody, it’s like, ‘Wow, here’s a full-grown man who does news for children, on a children’s network, for teenagers.’”
Following the Stereogum interview, Jewel finally did get her apology from Loder — albeit more than 2 years later.
“That MTV interview I did with Jewel was a s**tty thing to do to anyone, and I’ve been ashamed of having done it ever since,” said Loder in a statement to Yahoo! Entertainment.
“If I could go back in time I’d smack me in the head,” Loder added. “However, I’m not a college graduate…”