Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault and violence and may be distressing to some readers. If you are experiencing sexual abuse or other unwanted behaviour, please contact Full Stop Australia.
Brooke Shields has revealed that she was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood executive 30 years ago.
The actress and model shares her story in the upcoming two-part documentary Brooke Shields: Pretty Baby, which will be released on Hulu next month.
The documentary will look at the impact that fame and the entertainment industry had on Shields behind closed doors.
Shields, whose first film role came at just 11 months old, was made to play highly sexualised roles from a young age, including Pretty Baby, where she played a child prostitute at 12 years old and The Blue Lagoon, which required Shields to be filmed partially nude at just 14.
Shields explains in the documentary that the assault happened when she was in her early twenties, when she had recently graduated from Princeton and was looking for work.
Shields says that she agreed to have dinner with a Hollywood executive in the hope of getting work, stating “I thought I was getting a movie, a job”.
After dinner, the executive invited Shields to make a call for a cab from his hotel room, where he allegedly assaulted her.
“I didn’t fight,” Shields recounts in the documentary. “I just froze.”
Afterwards, Shields didn’t tell anyone, thinking that “No one is going to believe me.”
“People weren’t believing those stories back then. I thought I would never work again. It’s taken me a long time to process it,” she explained.
Shields reveals that for a long time she blamed herself.
“I kept saying, ‘I shouldn’t have done that. Why did I go up with him? I shouldn’t have had that drink at dinner’.”
However, the actress said that it wasn’t hard for her to shut off after the assault, explaining “I’d always had a sense of disassociation from my body. From my sexuality.”
“I’m more angry now than I was able to be then. If you’re afraid, you’re rightfully so. They are scary situations. They don’t have to be violent to be scary.”
These days, the star is happily married to Chris Henchy and the couple share two daughters, Rowan Francis (19), and Grier Hammond (16).
Shields is also the founder of the Beginning Is Now, a wellness platform for women over 40.