[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Sheryl Crow opened up about the alleged sexual harassment she faced from Michael Jackson’s late manager early on in her career.
The 59-year-old singer recently spoke to The Independent about the unwanted advances made by Frank DiLeo, who managed the controversial artist in the ‘80s, while she was on tour with him. She said:
“Naiveté is such a beautiful thing. It was incredible in every way, shape, and form for a young person from a really small town to see the world and to work with arguably the greatest pop star, but I also got a crash course in the music industry.”
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In the interview, Crow recounted the early tabloid stories of Jackson falling in love with his “sexy backing singer” and offering her $2 million to have his child. However, Crow believed the rumors were planted by DiLeo at the time, and he was the one who had truly been interested in her. The momma of two revealed the music executive repeatedly propositioned her while on tour and promised to destroy her promising career if she said no. In the end, Crow rejected his advances and returned home to Los Angeles in 1989, feeling more depressed than ever:
“It was disillusioning. I think when your dream bubble is burst you either go: ‘Okay, well, I’m going to forget that dream,’ or you do what I did, which was wallow in it for about a year, and then you pull your bootstraps up and you get back to work.”
“It’s really interesting to go back and revisit some of this old stuff and the experiences that went along with it, and then to compare it with where we are now. To be able to play that stuff about the long bout of sexual harassment I endured during the Michael Jackson tour and to talk about it in the midst of the MeToo movement… it feels like we’ve come a long way, but it doesn’t feel like we’re quite there yet.”
In case you didn’t know, Crow previously referenced the abuse she endured in her 1993 track The Na-Na Song, which included the lyrics:
“Frank DiLeo’s dong / Maybe if I’d him I’d have had a hit song.”
The musician further detailed that moment in her memoir Words + Music, explaining how it “was the first time I’ve ever talked about it and it felt really uncomfortable, but it felt, to me, so much more empowering to be able to talk about it and then play the music that was inspired by it… Isn’t that what music is really for? To help us work through whatever our experiences are, and hopefully for the collective to find their own situations in your music too?”
Wow… What are your thoughts on Sheryl’s honest discussion? Let us know in the comments (below).
[Image via Judy Eddy/WENN]