Brooke Shields Opens Up About Her Turbulent Relationship With Her Mother

Brooke Shields has broken her silence about the often tumultuous relationship she had with her mother. Teri Shields, 79, passed away last week after battling a long illness allegedly related to dementia. Brooke entered the entertainment business via a soap advertisement before she was a year old, according to Radar Online.

The 47-year-old actress released a statement which read:

“My mother was an enormous part of my life and of who I am today. I loved her, laughed with her, and respected her. And although she had her share of struggles, she was my mom.”

Theresa Anna Lillian Schmon was born in Newark in 1933. She worked as a hairstylist, as a makeup artist for Lord & Taylor, and as a model, according to Brooke’s statement. She married Francis Alexander Shields in 1964, and a star was born the next year. The couple divorced when the future actress was just a few months old.

News of the elder Shields’ death was not made public until Monday. Brooke’s mother allegedly battled alcoholism throughout her life. Teri often faced criticism for the way she handled her daughter’s career. Among the most controversial management decisions was a nude photography shoot arranged when Brooke was just 10. Teri also permitted her daughter to play a teenage prostitute in the 1978 hit film, Pretty Baby.

The actress was just 14 when she starred in the R-rated and sexually provocative movie, The Blue Lagoon. Brooke later testified in a Congressional hearing that older body doubles were used during some of the nude scenes shot during the film. Teri staunchly defended her decisions over the years when she was accused of taking advantage of Brooke’s beauty. She allegedly claimed that her detractors were simply jealous.

Teri’s career and maternal advice once again made headlines when Brooke appeared in a provocative Calvin Klein jeans advertisement. The actress was just 15 when she uttered the now infamous phrase, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins.”

The Suddenly Susan star fired her mother in the 1990s. The pair allegedly suffered a rift because Teri did not approve of her daughter’s relationship with Andre Agassi. Brooke Shields and her mother reportedly reconciled in recent years. The actress was allegedly spotted visiting her mother at a nursing home.