Sheryl Crow has stunned fans by alleging she was sexually harassed by Michael Jackson’s late manager, while touring with the King of Pop.
The singer claims Frank DiLeo threatened to end her career if she refused his advances, and then leaked stories about her secretly romancing Jackson.
“Naivete is such a beautiful thing,” she tells The Independent. “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.
“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.”
Crowe toured as a backing singer with Jackson when she was 25 before going on to pursue a solo career, and claims she rejected DiLeo’s advances then returned home to Los Angeles feeling deflated by her experiences and battling depression.
“It was disillusioning,” the Grammy Award winning singer recalled. “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.”
Crowe previously made reference to the alleged harassment in the lyrics of What I Can Do for You from her debut album, written from the perspective of an abuser, as well as The Na-Na Song, which features the line “Frank DiLeo’s dong/Maybe if I’d have let him I’d have had a hit song.”
DiLeo managed Jackson during the 80s and returned to work with him just before the singer’s death in 2009, with DiLeo passing away in 2011 aged 63.
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