Alanis Morissette Reveals Why She Isn’t Supporting the Documentary About Her Life

alanis morissette

Trigger Warning: This article contains information about sexual assault which may be triggering for some. Please read with caution and exercise self-care. 

Grammy-award winning singer Alanis Morissette is the latest high profile woman to share her experience of sexual assault — revealing she was raped by multiple men when she was just 15 years old.

The ‘You Oughta Know’ singer makes the revelation in a new HBO documentary, where she says, “It took me years in therapy to even admit there had been any kind of victimisation on my part. 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.”

Morissette explains that while she tried to tell a few people about what had happened to her, her claims fell on deaf ears with the singer describing the experience as “a stand-up, walk-out-of-the-room moment.”

She has not revealed the identifies of the alleged perpetrators.

“You know a lot of people say, ‘Why did that woman wait 30 years? And I’m like f–k off,” she also says in the doco. “They don’t wait 30 years. No one was listening or their livelihood was threatened or their family was threatened. The whole ‘Why do women wait’ thing? Women don’t wait. Our culture doesn’t listen.”

The documentary, titled Jagged, was made by filmmaker Alison Klayman — ostensibly with Morissette’s collaboration and blessing. However, the singer will not be attending the film’s premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on September 14, as she says the film is not what she agreed to.

“I agreed to participate in a piece about the celebration of Jagged Little Pill’s 25th anniversary and was interviewed during a very vulnerable time (while in the midst of my third postpartum depression during lockdown),” Morissette told The Hollywood Reporter.

“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 is when I knew our visions were in fact painfully diverged. This was not the story I agreed to tell.

“I sit here now experiencing the full impact of having trusted someone who did not warrant being trusted. I have chosen not to attend any event around this movie for two reasons: one is that I am on tour right now. The other is that, not unlike many “stories” and unauthorised biographies out there over the years, this one includes implications and facts that are simply not true.

“While there is beauty and some elements of accuracy in this/my story to be sure — I ultimately won’t be supporting someone else’s reductive take on a story much too nuanced for them to ever grasp or tell.”

Morisette’s 1995 album, Jagged Little Pill, catapulted her onto the global stage and sold more than 33 million copies worldwide. The record was later adapted into a Broadway musical of the same name going on to earn 15 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical.

She is the recipient of eight Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for ‘You Oughta Know’.

The singer was supposed to embark on an Australian tour towards the end of 2021, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Jagged Little Pill, however, due to COVID restrictions, the tour has been rescheduled to November 2022.

Jagged premieres on Saturday, November 27 at 9.30pm AEDT, available to watch On Demand on FOXTEL and on FOX DOCOS

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, please contact the Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence National Help Line on 1800 Respect (1800 737 732) or head to The Australian Human Rights Commission for a list of state by state resources.

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