“This was not the story I agreed to tell”
Alanis Morissette is not happy with a new documentary on her life and career. Jagged Little Pill is named after Morissette’s iconic 1995 album, and while the singer sat for hours of interviews with the filmmaker, she now says the final product is “salacious.”
“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 said in a statement. “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.”
Morissette has been open about her struggles with postpartum depression with each of her three kids. Following the birth of her third child in 2019, Morissette revealed that it took nearly two years for her to recover and start feeling like herself again. Throw a pandemic in there, too, and it’s understandable why it might not have been the most time to be doing confessional interviews.
While Morissette didn’t necessarily criticize any specific aspects or scenes of the documentary, she does candidly discuss sexual encounters she had with five men beginning when she was just 15 — encounters that she views much differently now as an adult than she did as a teenage pop star in Canada.
“It took me years in therapy to even admit there had been any kind of victimization on my part,” Morissette explains during one scene in the film, per the Associated Press. “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 is now distancing herself from the film and filmmaker Alison Klayman. “I sit here now experiencing the full impact of having trusted someone who did not warrant being trusted,” she said of Klayman.
“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 unauthorized biographies out there over the years, this one includes implications and facts that are simply not true,” Morissette said. “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.”
For her part, filmmaker Klayman simply says she’s “grateful” for the time Morrisette gave to the film’s production. “It’s a really hard thing, I think, to see a movie made about yourself,” Klayman said in an interview with Deadline. “I think she’s incredibly brave and the reaction when she saw it was that it was a really–she could feel all the work, all the nuance that went into it. And again, she gave so much of her time and so much of her effort into making this and I think that the movie really speaks for itself.”
The film is due to hit HBO on November 19.
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