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Tom Jones was propositioned early in his career: 'If you've done something wrong, you've got to pay for it'

 (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

The harassment that happened to Tom Jones early in his career "wasn't bad," he says, but it still made him feel "terrible."

The music industry has always been as full of sexual harassment as the film biz, the 77-year-old singer told BBC Radio 5 on Thursday. Performers talk about things they're "expected to do to get a record contract, just like a film contract."

Jones was obviously being asked about the scandal surrounding disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein. The "What's New Pussycat?" singer's solution was to "avoid it," he said, and simply walk away.

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Men in entertainment, he said, experience some of the same things women do. In his case, it "wasn't bad, just somebody tried to pull ... . It was a question, and I said, 'No thank you.' "

"[Y]ou think, 'Well, I've got to get away from this person, and it can't be like this,' " he said. "You should know that yourself, you don't do things just because you think, 'I should do this.' Your own mind will tell you that, not just in show business, but in anything you're in."

Jones has little sympathy for abusers. "[J]ustice will out. If you've done something wrong, you've got to pay for it, or prove that you haven't done anything wrong," he said. 

In recent years, Jones has been discussing his career-long image as a sex symbol who for decades has fielded women's panties onstage during his shows. It's something he's been trying to escape. 

"I wasn't being taken seriously as a singer," he told CBS News in 2016. "They saw that more than they heard what I was singing."

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