Sinead O’Connor has no regrets about the infamous incident that killed her career.
In 1992, the musician tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II while performing on “Saturday Night Live” as a protest against abuse in the Catholic Church.
Although abuse toward children by members of the Catholic Church would later be validated and become public knowledge, the initial backlash toward O’Connor was swift and brutal. The Irish musician, whose career was sizzling with potential due to her hit “Nothing Compares 2 U,” soon found herself a blacklisted one-hit wonder. At the time, she says, the public labeled her “crazy.”
In a New York Times profile published Tuesday with O’Connor for her upcoming memoir, “Rememberings,” the 54-year-old singer says that she has a completely different view of her career than the public does.
“I feel that having a No. 1 record derailed my career,” O’Connor writes in her memoir regarding “Nothing Compares 2 U,” per the Times. “And my tearing the photo put me back on the right track.”
The Times writes that O’Connor felt this way due to the mishandling of her career and feeling misunderstood by many in the music industry — including Prince, who wrote her hit “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
The Times then describes a bizarre encounter involving Prince detailed in O’Connor’s memoir. O’Connor alleges that the “Purple Rain” musician terrorized and assaulted her after his song made her a star.
Per the Times, O’Connor writes in her memoir that she was called to Prince’s Hollywood mansion and was scolded for swearing in interviews. Then the story takes a strange turn — O’Connor writes that while at his home, Prince berated his butler to serve her soup, although she repeatedly said she didn’t want any, and then “sweetly” suggested the two have a pillow fight.
O’Connor alleges in her memoir that, during this pillow fight, Prince hit her with something hard that he had slipped into a pillowcase. She then says that she escaped Prince’s home on foot in the middle of the night and “he stalked her with his car, leapt out and chased her around the highway,” per the Times.
HuffPost reached out to Prince’s estate for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
In the Times piece, O’Connor uses this experience to illustrate how being labeled “crazy” meant different things culturally when it came to her and Prince. Prince was regarded as being crazy in a positive way as in, “You’ve got to be crazy to be a musician,” she said, adding, “But there’s a difference between being crazy and being a violent abuser of women.”
The Times also noted that O’Connor does not seem to be bothered that she was allegedly tormented by the man who wrote her most famous song.
“As far as I’m concerned,” O’Connor said. “It’s my song.”
O’Connor’s memoir “Rememberings” will be released on June 1, 2021.
Head over to The New York Times to read O’Connor’s profile in full, which also includes the story behind the photo of the pope she chose to tear up and the reason she cries in the video for “Nothing Compares 2 U.”