Shania Twain on Stepfather’s Sexual Abuse: ‘You Didn’t Want to Be a Girl in My House’
Shania Twain is detailing the extreme measures she would go through to avoid or combat sexual abuse from her stepfather. In a new interview, the country music superstar says she would hide herself and "flatten my boobs."
Twain talked to the Sunday Times about what she endured as a child. She had previously opened up about being abused starting at 10 years old during a 2018 interview with the Guardian. It's also a part of her new Not Just a Girl documentary on Netflix.
"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," Twain says. "Make it easier to go unnoticed. Because, oh my gosh, it was terrible — you didn't want to be a girl in my house."
Who Was Shania Twain's Father?
Twain's father is a man named Clarence Edwards, but by age two she was raised by her mother, Sharon, and her stepfather, Jerry Twain. There were five kids in the family, including her two sisters, a son born to Jerry and Sharon, and Jerry's orphaned nephew. For years Twain has told of how abusive Jerry was to her and her mother, once claiming that he knocked her mother unconscious in a rage.
The accusations of sexual abuse are relatively new, with Twain just now explaining how it affected her early career and how she felt safer when he died in a car accident. She also says she fought back against Jerry Twain.
"I think a lot of that was anger, not courage," the 57-year-old says. "And it took a long time to manage that anger. You don’t want to be somebody that attacks me on the street because I will f---ing rip your head off if I get the chance."
While known for celebrating her womanhood beginning with hits from the The Woman in Me album (1995), Twain continued to struggle with it into her early 20s. She'd play bars and clubs while raising her younger siblings at home.
"I had to play the glamorous singer, had to wear my femininity more openly or more freely," she shares. "And work out how I'm not gonna get groped, or raped by someone's eyes, you know, and feel so degraded."
Eventually her confidence grew to the point that her ability to wear sheer or revealing outfits was as much as her brand as her stunning voice and relatable songwriting.
"I was never an exhibitionist for the sake of, like, saying, you know, 'Look at my tits,'" she says. "It was really me coming into myself. It was a metamorphosis of sorts."
2023 promises to be a big year for Twain, as she's embarking on the Queen of Me Tour across America. She's also hinted that more new music could be forthcoming: Her latest song is called "Waking Up Dreaming" and on the cover art she's posed without a shirt on.
"This is a statement of being comfortable in my own skin and just being really myself," she tells People.