Brooke Shields has decided to share her experience of surviving a sexual assault that took place more than 30 years ago.
In an exclusive interview with People, Shields bravely disclosed that she was assaulted by a Hollywood executive shortly after graduating from Princeton University.
During that time, she carried the burden of self-blame, but with the passing decades, she has been able to process the events that unfolded.
Shields expressed her present anger, surpassing what she was capable of feeling back then. She acknowledged the fear that accompanies such situations, emphasizing that they can be truly unsettling even without overt violence.
This revelation marks the first time the model-turned-actress has publicly acknowledged being a victim of sexual assault. She explained that, during that era, people were less inclined to believe such stories, and she feared the repercussions on her career.
Her story, unfortunately echoing the experiences of many in Hollywood, will be further explored in a forthcoming two-part documentary titled “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields.”
Reflecting on the process of creating the documentary, Shields remarked on the significance of seeing the narrative come together. She considers it nothing short of a miracle that she survived the traumatic ordeal.
By sharing her story, Shields hopes to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault and the importance of supporting survivors. Her resilience and courage serve as a testament to the strength needed to confront and overcome such traumatic experiences.
Starting her career as a model at a remarkably young age of just 11 months, Brooke Shields, now 57 years old, made a significant impact on the industry. However, her journey was not without its dark moments.
In 1978, at the age of 12, Shields took on a controversial role in the film “Pretty Baby,” portraying a child prostitute. The film sparked intense debate due to its sensitive subject matter.
At 14 years old, Shields achieved another milestone as the youngest model ever to grace the cover of Vogue magazine. Unfortunately, her career trajectory took a troubling turn in the 1980s when she appeared in provocative advertisements, most notably for Calvin Klein, which contributed to her premature sexualization.
After completing her education at Princeton University, Shields found herself at a career low. During this challenging period, she arranged a dinner meeting with an undisclosed Hollywood executive, hoping for an opportunity in the film industry.
However, the evening took a distressing turn when the executive invited her to his hotel room.
Under the pretense of needing to call a cab, Shields reluctantly accompanied him. But once inside the room, she became the victim of sexual assault.
Recalling the harrowing incident, Shields revealed that she did not fight back; instead, she felt paralyzed by fear. The trauma caused her to freeze in the face of such violation.
Shields grappled with overwhelming guilt and self-blame following the assault, tormenting herself with thoughts of what she could have done differently.
“I kept replaying the events in my mind, questioning my actions. Why did I go to his room? Why did I have that drink at dinner?” she admitted, burdened by a deep sense of responsibility.
During that period, Shields confided in only one person, her close friend and former security consultant, Gavin de Becker. However, she now feels ready to share her story publicly, driven by the desire to offer support and solace to others who have endured similar experiences.
Recognizing that each person processes trauma at their own pace, Shields aims to be an advocate for women to find their voices and speak their truth.
It is disheartening to witness individuals who have endured sexual assault remaining silent for fear of not being believed. Their stories deserve to be heard and validated, without judgment or skepticism.
We must cultivate a culture of belief and support so that survivors no longer have to bear the weight of their painful secrets for years or decades on end.
Please help raise awareness by sharing Brooke Shields’ story, as it holds the potential to foster empathy, understanding, and change in our society.