In news that has shocked fans, singer Alanis Morissette has claimed in a new documentary that she was raped my multiple men when she was 15 years old.
The news was first reported by the Washington Post, where the ‘Ironic’ singer makes multiple allegations of statutory rape, revealing the incident happened in Canada. However, despite making these allegations in the documentary she corroborated on, Morissette has refused to attend the premiere for unspecified reasons and is also not planning to appear at its Toronto International Film Festival world premiere on Tuesday.
Quoting a source, Washington Post also stated the person was unclear whether Morissette would even engage in any publicity for the film, which is being produced by HBO.
Directed by the award-winning documentarian Alison Klayman, ‘Jagged’ follows Morissette’s meteoric rise in the 90s, largely speared by her landmark album ‘Jagged Little Pill’ (1995). More than halfway through the film, Morissette speaks out about being sexually abused in the early years of her career.
“It took me years in therapy to even admit there had been any kind of victimisation on my part,” she says in the film. “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 paedophiles. It’s all statutory rape.”
The legal age of consent in Canada is 16 years.
Who she is referring to remains unclear; Morissette does not name any of her alleged abusers. But she says she issued calls for help and implicates the music industry in not listening. “I did tell a few people and it kind of fell on deaf ears,” she says. “It would usually be a stand-up, walk-out-of-the-room moment.”
While the film would give Morissette a platform to share her side of the story, it remains unclear why the singer is shunning the premiere.
In the documentary, Morissette speaks about how, at 15, and while living at home with her parents in Ottawa she tasted fame on television and dance-pop star, along with signing a two-record deal with MCA Canada. However, it was quite early on in her career that Morissette faced unwanted sexual advances.
“Almost every single person that I would work with, there would be some turning point where the camera would go Dutch angle,” she says in the documentary, referring to the filmmaking shot that suggests tension or trauma.
This isn’t the first time Morissette has hinted at abuse. Speaking to the Sunday Times last year, the singer said it had become an industry norm of sorts. “Almost every woman in the music industry has been assaulted, harassed, raped. It’s ubiquitous — more in music, even, than film,” she had said. — With inputs from the Washington Post