Alicia Keys has released her new memoir, More Myself: A Journey this week, and in the book, she details an experience where she claims that she was “manipulated” in a provocative photoshoot by a photographer.
She was 19 years at the time.
According to Keys, the incident took place back in 2000 while she was preparing for the release of her first album. She says the photographer, who she does not identify by name, demanded that her team leave the two of them alone.
“When I emerge from the dressing room, there’s just the two of us on set,” Keys writes. “‘Open up your shirt a little,’ he directs while firing off a flurry of camera snaps. My spirit is screaming that something is wrong, that this feels sleazy. But my protests, lodged in the back of my throat, can’t make their way out.
“‘Pull the top of your jeans down a bit in the front,’ he urges. If I say no, what doors will be closed to me? I swallow my misgivings, tuck my thumb between the denim and my skin, and obey.”
Keys said she wept after returning home from the shoot.
“This isn’t about me showing some skin, which I’ll do on my own terms, for my own purposes, in the coming years. It’s about feeling manipulated. It’s about being objectified.”
She recalled feeling “embarrassed” and “ashamed” when the pictures were published months later on a magazine cover.
More Myself was released on 31 March and journey’s life from childhood through her meteoric rise to fame.