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Jewel: I’ve Dealt With Sexual Harassment Since I Was 8 Years Old

Jewel revealed in a recent interview that she has dealt with sexual harassment since she was 8 years old. Rob Kim/Getty Images

Jewel has seen a lot of things in her days as a multiplatinum artist in showbiz. But unfortunately, the Pieces of You singer’s experience with sexual harassment started years before she even entered the very “male-dominated” music industry.

“I’ve had men hitting on me, sadly, since I was really young,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview. “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.”

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The 41-year-old country songstress, who released her 12th studio album, Picking Up the Pieces, on Friday, Sept. 11, added that though she often watched as men took advantage of other burgeoning female artists, she knew better because of her early experiences.

“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 everyone that’s around you.”

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Added the Grammy-nominated singer, “I learned to keep my energy to myself, where there’s nothing about me that seemed approachable. And as men did approach me, I got very good at handling men in a way that sort of didn’t anger them. …And at the same time using wit and usually humor to defuse the situation and to inform them, ‘P.S. Not available that way.’”

Jewel also revealed that she had “never been more propositioned by businessmen” than when she was homeless on the streets before she got her record deal.

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“It was almost like they were sharks that could smell blood, like of vulnerability,” she said. “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.”

Jewel was previously married to rodeo star Ty Murray, though the pair split in July 2014 after 16 years together, six of which they spent as husband and wife.

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“Ty and I have always tried to live the most authentic life possible, and we wanted our separation as husband and wife to be nothing less loving than the way we came together,” she wrote on her blog at the time. “For some time we have been engaged in a private and difficult, but thoughtful and tender undoing of ourselves. Allowing ourselves the time and space to redefine what we are to each other with love rather than malice.”

The former couple share one son together, 4-year-old Kase.

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