Downtown singer Petula Clark has warned the #MeToo movement has gone too far, saying men opening doors for women isn’t flirting, it’s just good manners.
The 87-year-old, who once said she was propositioned by Elvis Presley to a threesome, admits she has seen some ‘pretty nasty things’ in her eight decades in showbusiness.
But while she praised the merits of the #MeToo movement, which began in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, she said it had possibly gone too far.
‘There’s a danger that the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction,’ she said.
‘I like a man to open a door for me, for instance. That’s not flirting, that’s good manners. In the end, it should just be down to common sense.’
Petula Clark praised the merits of the #MeToo movement, which began in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, but said it had possibly gone too far
Clark, who once said she was propositioned by Elvis Presley to a threesome, admits she has seen some ‘pretty nasty things’ in her eight decades in showbusiness (pictured, Elvis Presley strums an acoustic guitar in 1962 at MGM Studios in Culver City, California)
Clark, who is currently appearing as The Bird Lady in the West End production of Mary Poppins, made the comments in an interview with The Lady magazine.
She said there is ‘no denying’ that some women ‘send out signals’ that men ‘find hard to resist’. But admitted she saw her fair share of predatory behaviour over the years.
‘I never experienced anything that would have made me want to report the person to the police,’ she says. ‘But if you put attractive men and attractive women together, you shouldn’t be surprised if sparks sometimes fly.
‘Of course, I’ve seen some pretty nasty things but it never happened to me. I don’t think I was giving out those signals because there’s no denying a lot of girls do send out signals.
‘Maybe I shouldn’t say that but I’ve seen it – and men find it difficult to resist.’
Mother-of-three Clark, who lives mostly in Switzerland, says she backs the principles of the #MeToo movement.
‘Not that this is confined to showbusiness,’ she says. ‘Having said that, I approve of MeToo, of course I do. I profoundly disapprove of any man who thinks he can have whatever he wants because he’s powerful. That’s pretty lousy.’
Mother-of-three Clark, who lives mostly in Switzerland, says she backs the principles of the #MeToo movement (pictured, in her youth)
Petula Clark with her husband Claude Wolff and their children Katherine, now 56, and Patrick, now 47, following her first night in The Sound of Music at the Apollo Theatre in London in 1981
Earlier this year British singer Clark revealed that she was made a rather salacious offer by Elvis Presley when she was a young pop starlet, which she turned down.
According to the British singer The King propositioned her to a threesome with her friend Karen Carpenter when they visited him in his dressing room following a concert.
Miss Clark said that the rock superstar was ‘raring to go’ but she rejected the offer as she didn’t find Presley ‘attractive’ and she wanted to preserve Miss Carpenter’s innocence.
Despite this, the singer – who has sold almost 70 million records in a career dating back to the 1940s – does believe that it may have gone too far.
Clark and her husband Claud Wolff have been married for almost 60 years, but live largely separate lives these days.
And while she has no intention of retiring, she finds one aspect of modern fame particularly tiresome.
‘I must admit, I’m not keen on people taking selfies – I think they’re rather awful,’ she says. ‘If someone wants to take a picture of me, I encourage them to get somebody else to take it. And I’ll happily sign autographs.’
A recent highlight of her career, she says, was performing at Royal Variety Show last November when she got to meet a future King.
‘The Duchess of Cambridge brought George and Charlotte to see the show and came backstage afterwards,’ she recalls. ‘Little George was a bit shy at first but he soon livened up.’