Fiona Apple is the subject of a new in-depth profile in the New Yorker, which sees the 42-year-old singer opening up about her musical career and new songs, the impact of being raped at age 12 and some of her high-profile romances.
While Apple’s ex-boyfriend Jonathan Ames figures prominently in the piece — she remains close to the writer and TV creator — the currently single singer also reflects on other men from her romantic past. That includes magician David Blaine, whom she remembers fondly but, writer Emily Nussbaum notes, she is “disturbed to learn that he was listed in Jeffrey Epstein’s black book”; Blaine was reportedly hired in the past to perform tricks for the late financier’s guests.
The article also reveals that Apple was once “briefly involved” with comedian Louis C.K., who was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women in 2017. Though the “Criminal” singer initially stood by her friend, expecting him to own his mistakes by channeling them into his work, she has since grown more critical. Apple, who once sent C.K. a friendly note encouraging him to “dig deeper” with his post-#MeToo comedy after new jokes surfaced online, has more recently become acquainted with Rebecca Corry, one of his accusers, and now sees her ex as “useless” unless he does more work on himself and takes responsibility for his interactions with women.
“I SHAKE when I have to think and write about myself,” she texted Nussbaum of C.K.’s need to address some hard truths. “It’s scary to go there but I go there. He is so WEAK.”
But her biggest bombshells come in reference to former boyfriend Paul Thomas Anderson, the director of Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread who now has four children with his current partner, actress and comedian Maya Rudolph.
Apple dated Anderson from 1997 to 2002, a period that saw them collaborate on music videos and music for his 1999 film Magnolia. The pair have been regarded as an indie ‘90s hit couple — a reputation that Apple now seeks to dispel by disclosing some of the more toxic elements of their relationship. The Grammy winner tells Nussbaum that she previously held off disparaging her ex because it wasn’t “classy,” adding that their rocky romance has become a “secret that keeps us connected.”
According to Apple, Anderson had a temper that could get physical, though she insists that he never hit her. After he allegedly threw a chair across a room following the 1998 Oscars — the year Boogie Nights went home empty-handed despite three nominations — she thought, “F*** this, this is not a good relationship.” She went home to her father’s house, only to go back to Anderson the next day, she says.
Together, she claims they abused drugs and acted out. In one instance cited by Apple, who says she drank heavily during the relationship, they were rude during dinner with her parents. Afterward, Anderson, who declined to comment for the article, allegedly responded to Apple’s mother’s question about what was going on with “Ask yourself — you made her.”
Apple also describes her ex as a constant critic who, she claims, would whisper cruel insults in her ear, causing her to tear up. On the way to a 2000 visit to do volunteer work with kids diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, she says an angry Anderson “shoved her out of his car” while dropping her off, at which point she fell in public view.
Anderson also played a part in helping her swear off cocaine, she says. Apple says she quit after “one excruciating night” with then-boyfriend Anderson and Quentin Tarantino at the latter’s home.
“Every addict should just get locked in a private movie theater with Q.T. and P.T.A. on coke, and they’ll never want to do it again,” she says.
She acknowledges that she did go on to collaborate with her ex several years later, for the 2011 video for “Hot Knife,” but feels that she was only able to do so because she “felt more able to hold her own — and she said that he might have changed,” Nussbaum writes. According to the piece, Apple will soon re-release her second album, 1999’s When the Pawn ..., on vinyl, but will replace the original artwork Anderson created for the original.
Yahoo Entertainment has reached out to Anderson’s representative for comment.
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