Entertainment

Dita Von Teese: I often felt like I was preyed upon as a teenager

The Queen of Burlesque said it was ‘important' women felt free to talk about their experiences.

Burlesque star Dita Von Teese has said that she often felt like she was preyed upon as a teenager.

The US model and designer, whose Glamonatrix tour will visit the UK in April, said the Me Too movement had “opened up the floodgates”.

Von Teese, widely known as the Queen of Burlesque, spoke to the PA news agency at the London Palladium on Friday, where she is due to perform across five nights later this year.

She said: “I think it was really an important conversation to have. I just think about mostly all my conversations I have had with men regarding that.

Dita Von Teese tour photocall – London
Dita Von Teese at the London Palladium (Matt Crossick/PA)

“It really opened up the floodgates and let people talk about how it is to be a man navigating all of that, how it is being a woman navigating all of that, and what our experiences are.

“Because I never really talked about how I often felt like I was preyed upon when I was a teenager.

“A lot of men who are not that way were surprised to hear that that is how it is to be a young woman or to be a woman in general.

“So, I think, most importantly, having the conversation has been really interesting, and hearing people talking about it openly…

“Being in restaurants and hearing people talk about their experiences, overhearing things, and people feeling freer to speak about it is important.”

Nato Leaders Meeting
US President Donald Trump (Steve Parsons/PA)

The 47-year-old, who was born in Michigan and lives in Los Angeles, said Donald Trump’s presidency had made her realise corruption was everywhere.

She added: “It’s a very strange time, I am sure people know. We have a president who is very much on the other side of the Me Too, notoriously.

“I guess you have to be optimistic. That’s the only way to be. It is like you start realising that this is the way of the world. Corruption is everywhere.

“Hopefully there are ways to control it in the future.”

The 10-date Glamonatrix tour will take Von Teese to Manchester, Brighton, Birmingham, London and Edinburgh, and will feature four new acts including a Swarovski crystal-inspired “surprise cake” routine and a twist on her trademark martini glass striptease.

Von Teese, who was married to singer Marilyn Manson between 2005 and 2007, said of the show’s inspiration: “This is my fourth full-length revue but really the second time I have been to the UK.

Dita Von Teese tour photocall – London
Dita Von Teese will tour the UK in April (Matt Crossick/PA)

“Of course, I like following the format of the classic American burlesque and variety show. This time I wanted to do a decidedly modern twist on burlesque.

“I had this term I made up for my lingerie many years ago called Glamonatrix – bringing together glamour and dominatrix to speak to the power of woman, bringing together high glamour with something that is a little bit risque and taboo at times… the dominant side of being a female.”

The star also quipped that she was intrigued by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s arrival in North America.

She said: “Yeah – I don’t know. I can’t really speak much to that situation because I am not that knowledgeable about it. I am still watching The Crown. I’m trying to catch up.”

Tickets for Dita Von Teese’s Glamonatrix tour are available at myticket.co.uk/artists/dita-von-teese.

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