Brooke Shields she has never shied away from talking about the ways she was sexualized as a child star in Hollywood. But now the actress reveals that she was raped when she was a young adult.
in new documentary film Pretty Baby, which premiered in Sundance Film Festival On Friday, Shields did not name her attacker, but detailed the events of a sexual assault that occurred shortly after she graduated from college at Princeton, during a period when she was struggling to find work after her initial success. Shields met the man in question for dinner, apparently to discuss work. He then returned to his hotel room to wait to call a taxi.
“He said, ‘Go back to the hotel and I’ll call a cab,'” Shields explains in the film. “And I go up to the hotel room, and he disappears for a while.”
Shields, feeling uncomfortable in a room that was not his own, decided to use the binoculars the man had left in the room and watched some volleyball players through the window. “The door opens, the person comes out naked, I have the binoculars and I’m like, ‘Shit—‘,” he continues. “And I put the binoculars down and he was right over me. Like he was fighting.”
Continuing his account, Shields explained that he did not try to run away because he was afraid it would lead to more physical violence. “I was afraid I was going to drown or something,” she says. “So I didn’t fight as much. I didn’t. I just completely froze. I thought a ‘No’ should have been enough, and I just thought, ‘Stay alive and get out,’ and I just shut it up.” God knows he knew how to disassociate me from my body. He had practiced it… I went down in the elevator and took my own taxi. I cried all the way to my friend’s apartment.”
The actress didn’t even process the experience as a sexual assault for a long time. Even when pointed out by her security specialist, Gavin de Becker. “He said, ‘That’s rape.’ And I said, ‘I’m not willing to believe that,'” she says.
Shields had already been sexually objectified by Hollywood, appearing nude and kissing 29-year-old Keith Carradine in the 1978 film. Pretty Baby (which gives the documentary its title) when he was only 11 years old. At 15, she appeared in two more movies, blue Lagoon Y Endless Love, which included sex and nudity, as well as his iconic Calvin Klein jeans ads promoting: “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins.”
Getty Images/Courtesy of the Sundance Institute Brooke Shields appears in the documentary ‘Pretty Baby,’ which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
Even with that story, Shields couldn’t help but feel like he was somehow guilty of his own assault. “That was what I had to do to my brain,” she admits. “He told me: ‘I can trust you and I can’t trust people.’ It’s cliché, it’s practically pathetic. I thought I somehow sent a message and that’s how the message was received. I drank wine at dinner. I went up to the room. He was so confident.”
She then goes on to say that she wrote a letter to her attacker, writing that she had destroyed “great trust” in him, but it was dismissed.
“I just put my hands up and said, ‘You know what, I refuse to be a victim because this is something that happens no matter who you are and no matter what you think you’re ready for or not,'” she concludes. . “I wanted to erase the whole thing from my mind and body and continue on the path I was on. The system had never come to help me. So I just had to get stronger on my own.”
Shields has previously referred to being sexualized from a young age in two memoirs. But this is the first time he has revealed details of an assault of this nature.
lena wilsonamerican lady) directed the documentary, which will be on Hulu later this year.
Additional reporting by Mike Miller.
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