In a new documentary released this week, singer Alanis Morissette alleges that multiple men had sex with her when she was just 15.
The artist, who had a hit 1995 debut album with “Jagged Little Pill,” makes the disturbing claim in a film titled “Jagged” that premiered on Monday at the Toronto Film Festival, according to The Washington Post.
Morissette, 47, was a pop star in Canada in her youth, appearing on the children’s television sketch comedy “You Can’t Do That on Television” for five episodes when she was in junior high school before she made it big.
“About three-quarters of the way through the movie, Morissette broaches the topic of sexual abuse during her earliest years of fame,” the Post reported, adding:
“I’m going to need some help because I never talk about this,” she begins, before plunging into the topic.
“It took me years in therapy to even admit there had been any kind of victimization on my part,” she says. “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.’”
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.
Morrissette said that people in the industry had ignored her in the past. “I did tell a few people and it kind of fell on deaf ears,” the singer said. “It would usually be a stand-up, walk-out-of-the-room moment.”
The singer swept the Grammy Awards in 1996, winning “Album of the Year” and “Best Rock Album,” as well as six other awards.
The film is a glowing assessment of Morrisette’s soaring career, which exploded with her first release. “Directed by the award-winning documentarian Alison Klayman, ‘Jagged’ takes a celebratory but nuanced look at Morissette’s life, building around a lively interview at her California home,” the Post wrote.
“The movie, which The Washington Post has viewed, chronicles Morissette as she goes from dance-pop prodigy in Canada to confessional poet-musician in Los Angeles several years later. It tracks her collaboration with producer Glen Ballard on the landmark 1995 album ‘Jagged Little Pill’; the 18-month-tour that followed as Morissette achieves and deals with the travails of megastardom; and the ceilings she broke for Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and other female artists,” the paper added.
Before the movie debuted, Morissette announced she would not attend the premier.
“It is unclear which aspects of the film she finds problematic,” the Post wrote. “Through much of the movie, the singer-songwriter, now 47, is an enthusiastic interview subject, reflecting on her years as generational avatar. There is little material that could be considered critical of Morissette from bandmates, collaborators, old friends, pundits and others who appear. Footage of Morissette from the 1990s tour promoting “Jagged Little Pill” is revealing but not incriminating.”
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