Shania Twain opens up on abuse she faced from her stepfather and feeling 'exploited'

“I hid myself and I would flatten my boobs," she said.

December 5, 2022, 12:07 PM

Shania Twain is opening up more about the abuse she endured throughout her childhood and how she fought back.

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, the award-winning singer spoke about the measures she took to try to keep herself safe in her household and how she defended herself against the physical and sexual abuse from her late stepfather Jerry Twain.

"I hid myself and I would flatten my boobs," she told the outlet. "I would wear bras that were too small for me, and I'd wear two, play it down until there was nothing girl about me. Make it easier to go unnoticed."

She added, "Because, oh my gosh, it was terrible -- you didn't want to be a girl in my house."

Twain previously opened up on her stepfather's abuse in her 2011 memoir "From This Moment On." Jerry and the singer's mother Sharon both died in a car accident in 1987.

The singer told The Sunday Times that she would fight back against her stepfather -- who adopted her four siblings when she was 4 years old -- out of "anger" when he was abused her and her mother.

She said she also faced unwanted attention on her body outside of her home as well: "You go into society and you're a girl and you're getting the normal other unpleasant stuff too, and that reinforces it. So then you think, 'Oh, I guess it's just s----- to be a girl. Oh, it's so s----- to have boobs.' I was ashamed of being a girl."

After her parents died, Twain said she was performing late at night as a singer at a resort hotel to support her family.

"All of a sudden it was like, well, what's your problem?" she told the outlet. "You know, you're a woman and you have this beautiful body? What was so natural for other people was so scary for me."

She said she felt "exploited" but also that she "didn't have a choice."

"I had to play the glamorous singer, had to wear my femininity more openly or more freely," she said. "And work out how I'm not gonna get groped, or raped by someone's eyes, you know, and feel so degraded."

The singer explained that she started to "[want] to grow into" and "appreciate" her body in her mid-20s.

"By the time I had my record contracts I was the kind of woman that ... when I walked in the room, it's like, don't even get any closer. It was clear in my body language," she said. "And I think maybe what young girls can learn too is to exude that confidence."

Twain embarks on her Queen of Me Tour next year and her new album of the same name arrives on Feb. 3.

For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call 1-800-799-7233, or if you're unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

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