'This was not the story I agreed to tell'
Ahead of the Toronto Film Festival premiere of a new HBO documentary about her life, Alanis Morissette has slammed the finished product.
The movie, Jagged, charts Morissette’s rise from teen pop queen to confessional rock star following the release of 1995’s Jagged Little Pill.
The seven-time Grammy winner said that she agreed to participate in the documentary because she thought it was going to celebrate the 25th anniversary of her breakthrough album.
“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, 47, wrote in a statement issued by her publicist. “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.”
Adding that she felt betrayed by the film’s director, award-winning documentarian Alison Klayman, Morissette alleged that the movie fictionalizes parts of her story.
“Not unlike many ‘stories’ and unauthorized biographies out there over the years, this one includes implications and facts that are simply not true,” the Ottawa native continued. “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.”
Morissette didn’t address which parts of the documentary are false, but last week the Washington Post revealed that the singer-songwriter alleges she was raped at the age of 15 in the film.
“I’m going to need some help because I never talk about this,” she says in one scene.
“It took me years in therapy to even admit there had been any kind of victimization on my part,” she continues. “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.”
Klayman, whose works include Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and the Steve Bannon documentary Brink, told Deadline that Morissette’s negative reaction to the finished product might be because it’s “a hard thing to see a movie made about yourself.”
“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,” Klayman said. “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.”
Jagged is set to premiere on Crave later this year.