This story seems like it was tailor made for a memoir. Indeed, I wondered if Jewel would spill some tea like this in her upcoming memoir, Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story. The book is out now, and People has some new excerpts that dish on Jewel’s relationship with Sean Penn. I alluded to this about a week ago when discussing Jewel’s revelation that men sexually harassed her at age 8.
Penn has nothing to do with that story, but there were always rumors that they were romantic together. Publicly, he’s sort of credited for discovering her, which sucks. Jewel says she actually didn’t hear from him until after she performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 1995. He pursued her during one of his breaks with Robin Wright (before they were married). Jewel says she loved him “for his mind,” which pleased Sean immensely:
Sean called her up: “One day my dad came to find me, saying, ‘Jewel, you must be getting some kooky fans out there in the Lower 48. Some guy just prank-called and said he was Sean Penn.”
She called him back: “The voice was unmistakably Sean Penn’s. He had seen me on Conan and was working on a movie he’d written called The Crossing Guard. He wanted me to compose a song for it. I told him I would and he said he would meet me anywhere to screen the movie, I could name the day. I gave him my cell number and figured I would never hear from him again.”
He was “a fantastic flirt: “He began to court me in earnest, following me around on tour, acting as my de facto roadie.” The majority of their relationship “wasn’t spent at Hollywood parties, but on the road,” making it easy for her to keep it under wraps. “I was determined not to be ‘discovered’ because I was dating someone in the public eye,” Jewel writes. After she explained this to him and said she “liked his mind,” Penn said it “would be impossible not to fall in love with me.”
He introduced her to people: “He enjoyed putting me in situations that brought out the best in me, and he never ridiculed what was still so half-wild and messy about me.”
Does it seem a little bit “off” that she’s dishing on Sean now, after all these years? I feel like she really wants to sell some books, so she’s adding something slightly controversial. At least waiting until now means Jewel isn’t dishing while he’s still married to Robin. That would be pretty rude and sketchy. Anyway, now we know that they were romantic together. Jewel says she took pains to never walk a red carpet with Sean because she didn’t want people to think she slept her way to the top. Makes sense, and her career has lasted for decades, so she would have succeeded with or without him.
Photos courtesy of WENN