Jewel reveals she was forced into homelessness because she refused to have sex with her former boss


Jewel‘s career spans nearly 30 years, but before she burst into the scene in 1996 with “Who Will Save Your Soul,” the singer lived in a van — out of choice. 

“I was homeless,” she told StereoGum, explaining, “I was living in my car because I wouldn’t have sex with my boss.  I refused to be leveraged and he wouldn’t give me my paycheck and I couldn’t pay my rent and I started living in my car.”

“And then my car got stolen and I was homeless because of that, because I wouldn’t bang a boss,” she said. “It cost me a lot, but it won me myself. It won me my humanity. I’m so proud of that decision.”

So, when the “Hands” singer was approached with a record deal, Jewel said she hesitated.

“I wasn’t optimistic that fame would be good for me,” she explained. “I was… soberly aware of the fact that I had a lot of emotional baggage.  It’s a recipe for what we’ve seen all too often in the music industry. Substance abuse or death, or unhappiness, all of which were unacceptable.

That led to Jewel promising herself to commit to being a “happy, whole human” and focus on “art over fame” if she signed the deal — and she did. Jewel also committed to continue standing up for herself, which led to her being “kicked out of the radio station” whenever a jock directed a sexist joke at her.

“I wouldn’t take s***,” she remarked. After a DJ called her “a large-breasted woman from Alaska,” Jewel recalled firing back, “You must be the small p**** man I’ve heard so much about from South Carolina.”

Jewel added she doesn’t regret those choices because she was “fighting for my humanity, for my psychology, for my happiness.”

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