The American singer-songwriter recalled an incident when she was “manipulated” and “objectified” while shooting for a magazine when she was just 19 years old.
The 39-year-old said she remembers the “shame” she felt being told to open her shirt and pull down her jeans by a sleazy photographer.
Alicia candidly wrote about the experience, which happened in 2000, in her new memoir.
The Empire State of Mind songstress, whose real name is Alicia Augello Cook, was preparing for the release of her first album at the time when she claims the photographer insisted to her team that he needed to take pictures of her alone.
She then writes that rather than disclosing his desire for “a provocative image”, the photographer “led [her] into it”.
“When I emerge from the dressing room, there’s just the two of us on set,” Alicia recalled.
“‘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.”
Alicia went to to explain how she remembers crying “harder than ever” when she got 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 wrote.
She didn’t name the photographer, or the magazine, but wrote that she wanted to throw up when she saw it on sale.