Country superstar Shania Twain is opening up concerning the alleged sexual abuse she says she suffered from her stepfather as a baby.
In a Thursday interview on the “Today” show, she doubled down on the abuse claims she made in 2018, explaining how her stepfather made her feel ashamed of her own body.
When discussing her daring cover art for her upcoming album, “Queen of Me,” the 57-year-old Twain revealed that the cheeky photoshoot was a method to putting her turbulent past behind her.
“It’s a way of really about saying, listen, I used to be abused once I was a child, my father would fondle me up on the highest and make me go and not using a shirt, and I used to be already maturing,” she said of the nude photography.
Twain opened up about her body confidence, which she said suffered after enduring abuse.GC Images
She described wanting to “escape” her skin — but now she is seeking to thrive in it.
“I’m glad in my very own skin. It’s the one skin I even have, so I don’t have a alternative,” she added. “It’s time to start out loving myself in my very own skin and really embracing that and never being embarrassed of it or shy of it.”
Despite being “petrified” of posing nude, she found the shoot to be “empowering.”
“Today” co-host Hoda Kotb touched on the “That Don’t Impress Me Much” singer’s 2022 Netflix documentary, “Not Only a Girl,” during which Twain described her upbringing and residential as “violent.”
She recalled that at times, she lacked food and electricity, and in her 20s, she lost her mother and stepfather, forcing her to step right into a parenting role for her siblings.
Twain’s experiences were a “double-edged sword” — the adversity made her stronger, but at what cost?
“There’s elements of that, of going through all those difficulties that make you stronger,” she said. “What you survive makes you stronger, but then again, you develop insecurities.”
The country singer claimed her stepfather, Jerry, right, sexually abused her growing up.NBC
You’ll never realize it from the daring, playful photographs for her forthcoming album, but Twain said she used to flatten her chest to go “unnoticed” in her home.
“I hid myself, and I might flatten my boobs. I might wear bras that were too small for me, and I’d wear two, play it down until there was nothing girl about me,” Twain told the Sunday Times in December. “Make it easier to go unnoticed. Because, oh my gosh, it was terrible — you didn’t need to be a woman in my house.”
She said abuse made her struggle to embrace her femininity and sift through her pent-up rage.
“It took a protracted time to administer that anger. You don’t need to be anyone that attacks me on the road,” the “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” singer said. ‘Because I’ll f–king rip your head off if I get the possibility.”
Twain never dreamed of superstardom — only of using music as an escape.Getty Images
Her newfound transparency and skill to talk on her trauma comes years after the five-time Grammy winner refused to dish details during a 2018 interview with the Guardian.
“I used to be fearful about my father killing my mother,” she said on the time. “I assumed they’d kill one another. My mom was quite violent, too. Many nights I went to bed pondering: ‘Don’t fall asleep, don’t fall asleep, wait ’til they’re sleeping.’ And I might get up and make sure that everybody was respiration.”
The article references her 2011 memoir, “From This Moment On,” during which she details an evening when her stepfather, Jerry, allegedly beat her mother, Sharon, unconscious and stuck her head into a rest room bowl. Twain said she fought back, hitting Jerry across the back with a chair — and he swung at her, fist colliding with jaw. She was 11 on the time.
She also claimed her stepfather “physically and psychologically” abused her, confirming there was sexual abuse involved — starting when she was 10 — but declined to share anymore. Twain also didn’t include it in her book.
“Uh huh, uh huh. I’m not going to enter details about it,” she said. “I don’t mind saying it, because I do think it’s vital that individuals understand you may survive these items.
“I feel the sexual abuse goes hand in hand with the physical and psychological abuse when it’s anyone you already know. I learned to dam it out,” she added. “Abusers need to govern you, whether it’s before or after, and what I said to myself is: ‘OK, there’s something flawed with this person, and that person will not be well.’”
The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee claims she never dreamed of stardom, only using songwriting as an “escape” from a violent — and hungry — reality.
“If you’re hungry you may’t do anything about it, but distract yourself from the hunger. And it really works. It’s therapeutic,” she revealed. “Numerous kids play with dolls, and I played with words and sounds.”