The height of Hollywood’s moral bankruptcy in the 1970s is shown in a cinematic sequence. Drooling customers vie for the virginity of a 12-year-old girl being carried through a posh brothel in a heavily made-up state. At just 11 years old, Brooke Shields had to appear naked on television and kiss Keith Carradine, 29, in order to play the child prostitute in Beautiful Baby. Jodie Foster, 14, was chosen for the part by the movie’s production company, but French director Louis Malle insisted on Shields.
Shields later stood up for the 1978 film about the red-light district in New Orleans, but it sparked outrage and was seen as nothing more than child pornography.
It was given an X-rating in the UK, and its release was delayed until cuts were made. It didn’t become accessible for viewing in Canada until 1995. But for young Brooke, this marked the start of a cycle of exploitation that culminated in her being raped by a business insider in her early twenties, as she now claims in an explosive new documentary.
When other girls were still decorating their pencil bags at the age of 14, she had become the youngest model to ever grace the Vogue cover. The same year, she started filming the lewd teen romance Blue Lagoon, in which her character repeatedly got naked and had sex with her fellow shipwrecked love interest (played by Christopher Atkins, who was 18 at the time). Shields claims the filmmakers encouraged her to continue an off-screen liaison with Atkins despite the fact that a body double was used for her sex scenes.
In Franco Zeffirelli’s romantic drama Endless Love the following year, about two high school sweethearts who are forbidden from seeing one another, she had more sex and nudity. She also appeared in racy Calvin Klein Jeans advertisements at the age of 15, writhing around in figure-hugging denim with the seductive tagline: “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvin’s? Nothing.”. She became a global celebrity as a result of the film and marketing campaign.
She rose to fame as “Brooke” around the world as the party-girl mascot of Studio 54 in New York. She was the adolescent with the long, shiny hair and distinctive thick brows that made her look older than her years and who a top agency once described as “so gorgeous that strong men forgot to flick their cigar ash.”.
Despite having a vampire-like appearance, Shields later admitted that she didn’t have sex until she was 22 and that she would have preferred to wait even longer. This finding led to the inaccurate labeling of her as “America’s most famous virgin.”. She had avoided the worst excesses of Hollywood’s predators, though, thanks in part to her abstinence.
She held her vehemently defensive mother Teri, who also served as her manager, responsible for years. I’ll cut off your b***s and make you eat them, she’d threaten me if someone gave me a strange look. Shields said this in 2019. But less than a year after asserting in an interview that she was “sort of untouchable… I was not easy prey” and had never experienced a “MeToo moment,” she is now singing a very different tune.
The 57-year-old actress claims in the documentary Beautiful Baby, which had its American premiere last month, that she was sexually assaulted in her early 20s in a hotel room by an unidentified male working in the entertainment industry.
After graduating from Princeton University in 1987, she had a meeting with him to talk about potential film projects. The man, who she claims was a friend, offered to call her a taxi after dinner and then left from his hotel room. In a nod to the rapist producer Harvey Weinstein, Shields asserts that her “friend” came back naked and attacked her. He was directly on top of me. She continues, “It felt exactly like wrestling.”.
Shields asserts that she “froze” and refrained from fighting back out of fear of being killed: “God knows I knew how to be disassociated from my body.”. I had already developed that skill. After the incident, she claims to have left the hotel, gotten in a cab, and driven “all the way” to another friend’s house while sobbing. Shields alleges that while drinking wine at dinner, she spent years refusing to accept what had happened to her. I went in the space. I was just so trusting,” she explains of her meteoric rise to fame at such a young age. “Sometimes, I’m amazed I survived any of it.”.
I remember thinking, “I hope she’s fine,” Laura Linney, a childhood friend who appears in the documentary, recalls. She was a young girl living in a world that was dominated by adults. And how that youth was used by Hollywood. When she had to kiss actor Keith Carradine in the movie Beautiful Baby, Shields acknowledges that she had never kissed anyone before. It won’t be counted, I said. Everything is a trick. Carradine said, “It’s all made up,” to her. Shields asserts that in response, she made an effort to tell the real her from the sleazy on-screen version of herself. I developed the ability to compartmentalize at a young age. It provided a means of existence. ‘.
However, some think that this marked the start of the actress’s serious identity crisis, which included her sexuality. After all, her home life was a far cry from Beautiful Baby’s depravity and Blue Lagoon’s gentle porn. Her mother Teri Schmon was a driven actress from working-class New Jersey, and her father Frank was a successful businessman. She was brought up in a strict Catholic household.
After she announced she was pregnant at age 31 after a brief romance with Frank, Teri’s family gave her money for an abortion, but she spent it on a coffee table. Shields’ parents got hitched and then got divorced when he was just five months old. Teri never got remarried, but Frank did, and they had three more daughters after they wed a socialite. As a result, Brooke lived in two different worlds. She occasionally visited her wealthy father and step-sisters on Long Island (he paid for her to attend a number of New York private schools), but she spent the majority of her time in a modest Manhattan apartment with her mother.
Teri, a resentful alcoholic, was determined to live vicariously through her lovely daughter, pushing her into fame from a young age. Shields participated in her first photo shoot for an Ivory soap commercial when she was just 11 months old. Teri invested all of her money in real estate as her daughter’s extraordinary talent began to pay off. She was a huge influence in her daughter’s life, interrogating and intimidating potential suitors and even accompanying Brooke to filming locations where Brooke once taped her mouth shut due to her habit of swearing like a construction worker.
Shields recently made an effort to dispel the misconception that Teri was the “stage mother from hell,” allowing her ten-year-old son to appear in promotional photos while completely naked. She and her mother, who passed away in 2021, were close, according to Shields.
In spite of stories of various pranks with Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, and the Rolling Stones in Studio 54, it’s possible Shields’ mother’s bad behavior explains why she always made sure her behavior was impeccable. She continues by saying that drinking and using drugs were prohibited and that she always returned home by 10 p.m. m. Young Brooke did have some male friends, though. She would be picked up from high school when she was 17 by John Travolta, who is ten years her senior.
George Michael, a pop star before he came out, was also a friend and, she guessed, a fan. Years later, she recalled, “I just felt like he was being exceptionally respectful of my virginity.”. She claims that when she first started college, she really fell in love for the first time. In her first year at Princeton, where she studied French literature, she wrote a book extolling the virtues of chastity, vowing to remain “pure” until the night of her wedding and urging other young Americans to do the same.
That she later lost her virginity at the age of 22 to Dean Cain, a fellow Princeton student who would go on to play Superman in the television series Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, may not come as a surprise. She revealed her love for Andre Agassi, the somewhat more alluring successor to John McEnroe as tennis’ bad boy, later, over 30 years later, with a lackluster film career driving a shift to Broadway. A few months later, when she was being treated for severe bunions in the hospital, he interrupted his tour and flew to New York to comfort her.
Her sober mother had an argument with Shields in a restaurant over the infamous tennis “punk,” during which the actress was heard yelling, “Drop him? “I’m getting married to him!” In 1997, she did. The marriage nevertheless only lasted two years. It was determined that their marriage’s demise was most likely due to prolonged separations while he participated in tournaments and she pursued her career. In 1995, Agassi made a flirtatious cameo in an episode of Friends in which she licked Matt LeBlanc’s fingers. As a result, Agassi became extremely protective of him, storming off the set, driving home, and smashing his Wimbledon trophy.
Nevertheless, there were rumors that the two were sexually incompatible and that Shields didn’t enjoy being around men. In an interview with the homosexual publication The Advocate in 2000, she said, “There are many women I find quite attractive. That, however, is unacceptable in this world. However, she married television writer Chris Henchy the following year after they had connected through a mutual friend. They had two daughters, Rowan and Grier, after undergoing numerous IVF cycles.
Shields added that she had postpartum depression and had contemplated suicide in 2005. She said, “I finally had a healthy, beautiful baby girl, and I couldn’t look at her.”. After a few weeks, Shields’ Endless Love co-star Tom Cruise, a Scientologist who believes that psychiatry is cruel, criticized Shields for taking the antidepressant Paxil and snidely questioned where her career had gone. Shields shot back, telling Cruise to “stick to battling aliens”—a reference to the Scientologists’ belief that we all have parasitic space aliens inside us that must be exterminated.
Many readers will remember her odd connection to another outlandish superstar. According to her eulogy at his 2009 funeral service, Shields first met Michael Jackson when she was 13 years old. She added that she had been his “date” to one of Elizabeth Taylor’s weddings in the same speech. Jackson first claimed that Shields was his girlfriend to Oprah Winfrey in 1993, and he repeated that claim to another interviewer in 2001, saying, “We dated a lot.”. My wall, mirror, and everything else were covered in her pictures. ‘.
Shields claimed he had repeatedly asked her for a marriage proposal and to adopt a child with him, but she insisted they were just friends. In the new documentary, she describes her relationship with Jackson as “childlike.”. That would be appropriate for a celebrity who recently said she didn’t consider sex to be “my experience” until she was in her 40s. She claimed that before that, she had been “terrified” of it. Given what she has recently disclosed about her past, who could blame her?