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Shania Twain Opens Up About The Harrowing Lengths She Went To Avoid Her Stepdad's Abuse

The singer-songwriter revealed to the 'Sunday Times' how she would alter her appearance so there was 'nothing girl about me.'

Shania Twain
Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for Bauer Media

*The following article contains discussion of sexual assault.

Country music star Shania Twain has a lot to look forward to with a new album and tour in the near future.

Even with so much hope on the horizon, Twain's memories from the past are met with pain and darkness.

In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, she recounted the lengths she would take to try to avoid physical and sexual abuse from her stepfather Jerry.

Twain—who revealed some of the abuse in her 2011 memoir From This Moment On, told The Sunday Times:

"I hid myself, and I would flatten my boobs."
"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."
"Because, oh my gosh, it was terrible - you didn't want to be a girl in my house."

Twain and her two sisters were adopted by Jerry when she was 4 years old. In 1987, he and Twain's mother were killed in a car crash.

Twain also shared her related struggles to "play the glamorous singer."

"I was ashamed of being a girl."
"All of a sudden it was like, 'Well, what's your problem? You know, you're a woman and you have this beautiful body?'"
"What was so natural for other people was so scary for me."
"I felt exploited, but I didn't have a choice now."
"I had to play the glamorous singer, had to wear my femininity more openly or more freely."
"And work out how I'm not gonna get groped, or raped by someone's eyes, and feel so degraded."

People on Twitter were heartbroken to learn what she had to endure and thanked her for sharing her story.

In September, Twain released her single Wake up Dreaming, her first in five years.

The complete album Queen of Me is set to be released early next year before she embarks on her tour in April. Twain is also set to appear as Mrs. Potts in ABC's Beauty and the Beast special on December 15.

Twain told The Sun she is looking forward to the next chapter in her life.

"I'm really excited about cheering people up."


If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault, help is out there. You can reach the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline by calling 1-800-656-4673, use their Live Chat tool:, or visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

In Canada, help is available through the Ending Violence Association of Canada website.

International resources can be found through the Rape Crisis Network Europewebsite.