Brooke Shields’ new documentary “Pretty Baby” made headlines at the Sundance Film Festival due to her revelation that she was sexually assaulted in her 20s. In a new interview with People magazine, Shields revealed it was a powerful Hollywood executive who assaulted her over 30 years ago.
“It’s taken me a long time to process it,” Shields said. “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.”
Shields said she never went public with the sexual assault until the documentary because she thought “no one is going to believe me,” adding, “People weren’t believing those stories back then. I thought I would never work again.”
The sexual assault happened at the “lowest point of my career,” Shields said. She was a recent graduate from Princeton University and booked a meeting with a Hollywood executive. The meeting took shape as a business dinner.
“I thought I was getting a movie, a job,” Shields said.
The dinner ended with the Hollywood executive bringing her back to his hotel room, where he proceeded to assault her. Shields added, “I didn’t fight. I just froze,” and said she blamed herself for the assault afterward.
“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,'” Shields said. “It was really easy to disassociate because by then it was old hat,” she recalls. “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.'”
In her two-part documentary, which Variety called “fascinating” and “accomplished” in its rave review out of Sundance, Shields opens up for the first time about her earliest experiences in Hollywood. The film tracks her rise as a child advertising model to her sexualization in movies, starting at age 12, in “Pretty Baby” (1978), and then at 15, in “The Blue Lagoon” (1980). The documentary is helmed by Lana Wilson, best known for her Taylor Swift doc “Miss Americana.”
“Brooke Shields: Pretty Baby” debuts April 3 on Hulu.