Brooke Shields speaks up about the Hollywood executive she says sexually assaulted her
When Brooke Shields took the powerful Hollywood executive up on his offer to use the phone in his hotel room, she expected to call a cab. Instead, she was sexually assaulted — and blamed herself for what happened.
The incident happened when she was in her 20s, the model and actor, 57, told People in an interview published Wednesday.
“It’s taken me a long time to process it,” Shields said of the assault, noting that something doesn’t have to be violent to be scary. “I’m more angry now than I was able to be then. If you’re afraid, you’re rightfully so.”
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Shields, who began her career as a child model, notoriously gained fame at age 12 when she starred in the movie “Pretty Baby” as a preteen prostitute. Three years later, she made waves with a provocative ad campaign for Calvin Klein Jeans in which she uttered the line, “Do you know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”
The romantic movie dramas “Blue Lagoon” and “Endless Love” happened for Shields around the same time, in 1980 and 1981, further heightening the teenage Shields’ characterization as a sexual being.
She took a break from her career to attend Princeton University and came back in the 1990s with roles on TV — including star turns on “Suddenly Susan” and “The L Word” — and a number of roles on Broadway.
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It was sometime between 1985 and 1995 when she had dinner with the exec — a dinner she thought was about her getting a role in a movie. When he assaulted her in the hotel room afterward, Shields said, she froze and didn’t fight back. She disassociated.
“It was really easy to disassociate because by then it was old hat,” she said after years of working as a cover girl and checking out to cope with the intensity of the attention cast her way. “And because it was a fight-or-flight type of choice. Fight was not an option, so you just leave your body. ‘You’re not there. It didn’t happen.’”
But it did happen. Shields said that up till now, she shared the story with only one person, a close friend who was a former security consultant.
That audience will broaden significantly with the debut of a two-part documentary about Shields’ life in which she tells that story and others in detail. “Brooke Shields: Pretty Baby,” which examines a woman who was sexualized at a very young age, debuts April 3 on Hulu.
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