When Brooke Shields accepted the powerful Hollywood executive’s offer to use the phone in her hotel room, she was hoping to call a cab. Instead, she was sexually assaulted and blamed herself for what happened.
The incident happened when he was in his 20s, said the 57-year-old model and actor. People in an interview published Wednesday.
“It took me a long time to process,” Shields said of the assault, noting that something doesn’t have to be violent to be scary. “I am angrier now than I could have been then. If you’re afraid, you’re right.”
Shields, who began her career as a child model, rose to fame at age 12 when she starred in the movie “Pretty Baby” as a pre-teen prostitute. Three years later, she made waves with a provocative ad campaign for Calvin Klein Jeans in which she uttered the line, “You know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”
The romantic film dramas “Blue Lagoon” and “Endless Love” happened to Shields around the same time, in 1980 and 1981, further enhancing the characterization of the adolescent Shields as a sexual being.
She took a career break to attend Princeton University and returned in the 1990s with roles on television, including starring roles in “Suddenly Susan” and “The L Word,” and various roles on Broadway.
It was sometime between 1985 and 1995 that he had dinner with the executive, a dinner he thought was to get a role in a movie. When he assaulted her in the hotel room after her, Shields said, she froze and didn’t fight back. She disassociated.
“It was really easy to disassociate because by then it was kind of old,” she said after years of working as a cover girl and trying to deal with the intensity of the attention thrown at her. “And because he was a fight-or-flight kind of choice. Fighting wasn’t an option, so you just left your body. ‘You’re not there. It didn’t happen.’”
But it happened. Shields said that so far, she has shared the story with only one person, a close friend who was a former security consultant.
That audience will be significantly expanded with the debut of a two-part documentary on Shields’ life in which he tells that story and others in detail. “Brooke Shields: Pretty Baby,” which examines a woman who was sexualized at a very young age, premieres April 3 on Hulu.