Despite two decades of success, Jewel has never been able to escape sexual harassment.
“I’ve had men hitting on me, sadly, since I was really young. At 8, 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,” the “You Were Meant For Me” singer, 41, explained in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The harassment was at its peak just before the Alaska native broke through in the mid-‘90s when she was living out of her car in San Diego (until it was stolen) after she’d been fired from her job at a coffee shop for refusing to sleep with her boss.
“I’ve never been more propositioned by businessmen in my life. It was almost like they were sharks that could smell blood, like of vulnerability,” she said. “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.”
Despite the constant pressure, Jewel has never given in, something that makes her immensely proud as she looks back on her career.
“The music industry is a very male-dominated business,” she said. “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. You know, I’ve heard plenty of stories that the opposite happens.”
Jewel’s 12th album, “Picking Up the Pieces,” was released on Friday.