Jewel says she grew up thinking her alcoholic, abusive father was an easy "bad guy," only learning in her 30s that her mother was also abusive, "just in another way."
Jewel is getting candid about both her life and the financial struggles she endured even after she became a multi-platinum recording artist.
On the latest episode of the “Verywell Mind” podcast, the singer claimed that her mother had embezzled an incredible sum of her money, saddling her with an almost equally shocking amount of debt.
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“I didn’t really realize what my mom was until I was 30-something. I woke up and realized she embezzled all of my money, over $100 million,” Jewel told host Amy Morin, per Us Weekly. Shortly after, she realized it wasn’t just the loss of her money, she was also in debt.
It was at that moment she realized “everything I thought my mom was, isn’t what she was,” which she said is still a “very difficult psychological thing to come to terms with.”
Jewel and her mother, Leandra Carroll, have been estranged since the early 2000s, per ET. At one time, Carroll served as her daughter’s business manager. Jewel said that an investigation uncovered the embezzlement, but did not offer any further details. Carroll has not commented on Jewel’s claims.
She talked about how throughout most of her life, and certainly in the years after her parents divorced when she was 8 years old, she had painted them with two very broad brushes. Her alcoholic, abusive father was an easy “bad guy.” Her mother was thus painted as the “good” one.
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She said that her mother had told her that her father had stolen her and her three brothers away from her, but that wasn’t the case. “As I started investigating the truth about what my mom had told me in my life versus what was true, I had realized that pretty much everything I formed my reality on was a fiction.”
“My dad didn’t take us away from my mom. He actually did a good thing and didn’t steal us. I thought he had stolen us or was blackmailing my mom to not have us,” she continued. “[I] actually realized my mom left us because she didn’t want to be a mom. Having to go back as a 34-year-old and re-work your psyche was not fun, but so powerful.”
Despite the fact she iived with her father, Jewel said she would hitchhike 500 miles to see her mother. “She was the opposite of my dad. My dad was this volatile alcoholic that hit me,” she recalled. “My mom seemed like the opposite. She was calm, she was soft, she never yelled, obviously never hit me.”
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What she didn’t know at the time, and wouldn’t fully realize until she was in her 30s, was that she “was being abused in another way at the time.”
She shared a very specific story about her mother talking to her about how powerful her mind was and perhaps it was just powerful enough to turn off a light if she just sat there and stared at it.
“That is such an abusive, effed up thing to say, but I felt so loved,” Jewel said. “What it actually was was my mom didn’t want to stay there and be with me, and she babysat me by having me watch light bulbs.”
Ultimately, as she has previously chronicled, Jewel left home at 15 years old and experienced temporary homelessness on her way to worldwide fame in the 1990s. You can check out the whole podcast below.
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