Sheryl Crow has opened up about how she was sexually harassed by Michael Jackson‘s manager Frank DiLeo when she was a backing singer for the music icon.
In a new interview with The Independent, Crow also explained the “crash course in the music industry” she received before making it big as a solo artist.
“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,” Crow said.
“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.”
Crow alleges that DiLeo repeatedly made sexual advances to her and vowed to sabotage her career if she didn’t comply with his requests.
She previously claimed in her 2020 autobiography Words + Music that DiLeo had planted tabloid stories about her “to make Mike look like he was interested in women”, by alleging that Jackson had fallen in love with her and offered her millions to have a child.
“Naiveté is such a beautiful thing,” Crow said. “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.”
Crow told the Independent that the memoir “was the first time I’ve ever talked about it and it felt really uncomfortable, but it felt, to me, so much more empowering to be able to talk about it and then play the music that was inspired by it”.
“Isn’t that what music is really for? To help us work through whatever our experiences are, and hopefully for the collective to find their own situations in your music too?,” she said.
DiLeo died in August 2011 following heart surgery at the age of 63, and managed Jackson both in the late 1980s and in 2009 prior to the singer’s death.
Crow also previously claimed to have seen some “really strange” things during her time as Michael Jackson’s backing singer.