What we know about Lily Allen has long been dictated by salacious headlines and fleeting glimpses of Twitter fallouts with other celebrities.
Sadly it wasn't all that surprising when, before her new book My Thoughts Exactly hit stores last Thursday, an extract that discusses a difficult period in which Lily used to sleep with female escorts was leaked on The Mail and the familiar cycle of drama that tend to link the singer-songwriter with one-sided tabloid conversations started once again.
In an exclusive interview for Refinery29 ahead of the book launch, she tells friend and writer Scarlett Curtis that she's stopped reading newspapers altogether. Reflecting on past events, particularly in the early stages of her music career, Lily identifies the way she's been treated by the press as having a significant effect on her relationships with other women. "At the beginning of my career I felt really scared of women, because a lot of the negative tabloid stuff that would be written about me would be written by the 3AM girls at The Mirror," she explains. "I had this feud with Cheryl Cole and the music industry loves to put women against each other so I did have this defensiveness around women, but I think that's all by design because when we do come together, we change things."
The attraction of Lily and her music has always been her fearless honesty about her life, and how she's feeling about it. Needless to say, My Thoughts Exactly fulfils the pop star's USP and more. Fans and followers are vaguely aware that it's been a rocky road for Lily, both in the press and in her personal life, but in this candid conversation with Scarlett, she gives further insight into just how much writing her new book helped in rediscovering her sense of self (and all the difficult realities she's had to face in the process).
They discuss Sheezus – Lily's last album, which she describes as "going so wrong" commercially, artistically and for her personally – and how that forced her to reevaluate what she wanted and to stop people-pleasing. They talk #MeToo, and how Lily doesn't see things changing in her industry any time soon. Lily also opens up about the seismic sexism that dictated her career for far too long.
Watch the full interview with Lily below...
Feminists Don't Wear Pink (And Other Lies), curated by Scarlett Curtis, is published in hardback by Penguin, priced £12.99, on 4th October