“I didn't really realise what my mum was until I was 30-something. I woke up and realised she embezzled all of my money, over $100 million."
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Jewel was featured in a new episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast with Amy Morin. The pair discussed mental health, the app Innerworld she founded with psychology doctoral candidate Noah Robinson (a digital platform for people to connect with counsellors free of charge and with an anonymous avatar), and her mother, who she alleges embezzled over $100 million from her.
As Jewel detailed in the interview, finding out that her mother wasn’t the figure she thought she was for her entire life required a complete reworking of her psyche, which was another layer of trauma following her troubled upbringing.
The Down So Long singer claimed that her mother, Lenedra Carroll, who was her manager, stole "all of her money," over $100 million.
“I didn't really realise what my mum was until I was 30-something. I woke up and realised she embezzled all of my money, over $100 million,” she told Morin.
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Jewel continued, “Thirty-four years old, realise I'm $3 million in debt, realise my mom stole it, realise everything I thought my mum was, isn't what she was, very difficult psychological thing to come to terms with.”
Jewel’s childhood has now become a confusing, confronting thing to think about, with the revelations about her mother brought to light.
She said in the podcast, “My mum and dad got divorced when I was eight, and we went to live with my dad. Nobody told me it's because my mum didn't want to be a mum. She left us, and so my dad took over raising us. I didn't know that at the time.”
She continued, “My dad was this volatile alcoholic that hit me, very easy to identify ‘bad guy.’ My mum seemed like the opposite. She was calm; she was soft; she never yelled, obviously never hit me. And I didn't realise I was being abused in another way at the time.”
Discussing Innerworld and mental health, an initiative and experience that has challenged Jewel for many years, she said about the platform, “You can enter a portal, and now you're in a community space where there'll be a live guide 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
She then provided a scenario of someone needing help after a pet passes away and needs assistance. “The guide could say, ‘Would you like to see the grief cycle? Would you like to learn about the grief cycle?’ They can pull up instantly a visual aid of the grief cycle, and you can start to talk about it,” the singer added.
“There's a real community, which the side effects of just connection alone are very proven and shown to be incredibly beneficial to people's mental health outcomes. And so it's the safe space where you'll meet people from all walks of life, and it's anonymous.
An initiative formed to assist people with social anxiety reaching out for help, Jewel said, “You have a cartoon character that is you, and you get to make up your own name, and so you're meeting real people, sharing real-life problems, but in an anonymous and safe setting.”
Check out the full interview here.