In the 80s, Levi’s model Brooke Shields was catapulted to international stardom with movies like The Blue Lagoon and Endless Love. Her ethereal beauty and acting talent made her the subject of everyone’s desire, and she was romantically linked to everyone from Michael Jackson to Andre Agassi.
But today, she’s opening up about a painful experience during that time. Like many Hollywood women empowered by the #MeToo movement, Brooke is revealing that she also suffered a sexual assault at the hands of a Hollywood exec. Now, she’s finally telling her story.
In her new Hulu documentary Pretty Baby, she reveals the assault and also speaks to People about the details.
"No one is going to believe me," she admits she thought at the time of the assault. "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 continues. "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."
Saying the assault happened when she was a student at Princeton during a quiet time in her career; she accepted an invitation to go to dinner with a Hollywood exec, whom she refuses to name. She says she naively accepted an invitation to join him in his room because she assumed it would further conversations about a possible movie role, unaware of his intentions.
When he assaulted her, she recounts in the documentary, "I didn't fight. I just froze."
The Suddenly Susan star then admits that, like many women in this situation, 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.' "
"It was really easy to disassociate because by then it was old hat," she continues. "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.' "
"I'd always had a sense of disassociation from my body. From my sexuality," she says. "I was mostly a cover girl, so it's all here," she motions to her neck-up. "And it was just easier to shut myself off. I was good at it."
The icon says she’s now sharing her story so that other women in similar situations know they are not alone. "Everybody processes their own trauma on a different timeline. I want to be an advocate for women to be able to speak their truth."
Pretty Baby will premiere on Hulu on April 3, and you can catch Brooke on this week’s cover of People Magazine.