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Alanis Morissette Has Harsh Words for Jagged Documentary

In it, singer says she was abused when she was a 15-year-old pop star
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2021 4:41 PM CDT
Updated Sep 14, 2021 4:27 PM CDT
Alanis Morissette Says She Was Victim of Statutory Rape
Alanis Morissette performs on the FedEx Stage at Beale Street Music Festival on Friday, May 4, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn.   (Photo by Laura Roberts/Invision/AP)

(Newser) Update: Jagged premieres Tuesday at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Alanis Morissette won't be there to celebrate. The Los Angeles Times shares some of the harsh words the singer had about the HBO documentary about her life by Alison Klayman, who Morissette says interviewed her extensively when she was "very vulnerable" and experiencing her "third postpartum depression during lockdown." Adds Morissette: "I was lulled into a false sense of security and their salacious agenda became apparent immediately upon my seeing the first cut of the film. ... This was not the story I agreed to tell." Our previous story about some of the film's contents follows:

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Alanis Morissette says she was a victim of sexual abuse during the early years of her fame. In a documentary premiering at the Toronto Film Festival this week, the Canadian singer and songwriter says multiple men had sex with her when she was 15 years old and launching a career as a pop singer, the Washington Post reports. "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.'"

At the time, the age of consent in Canada was 14, though it was older when there was a "relationship of trust, authority, or dependency," the Post notes. The age was raised to 16 in 2008. In the documentary, Jagged, Morissette, now 47, says she largely kept quiet about the alleged abuse at the time, and when she did try to tell people about it, the response was disappointing, the Guardian reports. "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."

"You know a lot of people say 'why did that woman wait 30 years? And I’m like f--- off,” Morissette says. “They don’t wait 30 years. No one was listening or their livelihood was threatened or their family was threatened." In the documentary, which was produced by HBO and will air on the network this fall, Morissette doesn't name her alleged abusers, but she strongly criticizes the music industry. A source tells the Post that Morissette is unhappy with the documentary and does not plan to attend the Tuesday premiere. (Read more Alanis Morissette stories.)

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