Jewel, who’s promoting her third book, a memoir called Never Broken, stopped by Us Weekly to get detailed about her the love affair she had with Sean Penn in the ‘90s. Again! Jewel we get it!

The singer and author told the magazine that their relationship occurred before she was a household name, which is why she was secretive:

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“[When] Sean and I were dating, I wasn’t famous at all, and nobody knew that we were dating,” the 41-year-old singer tells Us. “I kept it very quiet because I was very determined not to be known for who I was dating. If I ever got known, I’d rather it be for my talent and my mind and my thoughts.”

According to Jewel, the two began dating after Sean Penn (who is 14 years older than the Alaskan singer) saw her on Late Night and wanted her to write a song for The Crossing Guard. In her memoir, she writes that even her dad didn’t believe it when Sean Penn called her up, thinking that the actor was a prankster trying to get a rise out of her. But, again, the call was legit; the film star really did want her to contribute.

Jewel was 20, and this was shortly before Penn married Robin Wright. Jewel tells Us the actor took her to The Venice Film Festival, where he had to explain who everyone was—as she says, she’s from Alaska and couldn’t tell a Polanski from a hole in the wall. Here’s an excerpt from her memoir:

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“Sean would whisper in my ear and explain everyone’s backstory to me. It was not my world and I was pretty sure it never would be. Sean took me to see the sights in Montmartre and wrote me in notes that he hid in my pockets.

In September, Billboard notes, Jewel told Howard Stern that Penn was important to her because he represented the “belief in her” that she “desperately needed” at a time when her career hadn’t yet taken off.

If you still don’t know enough about this relationship, you can watch a video of Jewel talking about it here.


Contact the author at mark.shrayber@jezebel.com.

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