Brooke Shields Speaks Out About Sexual Assault Controversy in "Pretty Baby" and Her First Kiss at 11

Brooke Shields Speaks Out About Sexual Assault Controversy in "Pretty Baby" and Her First Kiss at 11
Getty Images | Paramount Pictures | Jamie McCarthy

Brooke Shields has revealed shocking details about the exploitation she faced and the disturbingly over-sexualized roles she had to play in her career, in her new Hulu documentary Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields. The documentary title itself is derived from the controversial 1978 film directed by Louis Malle, in which Shields starred as a child prostitute. In the film, she was forced to seductively kiss her then-27-year-old co-star Keith Carradine. 

"The entirety of my life, it was, ‘She’s a pretty face,’ over and over and over and over,” Brooke Shields recalls in the opening of the trailer for her upcoming two-part documentary. “And that always, just, seared me.” 



Evening Standard reports that Shields revealed for the first time in the Hulu documentary that she had never kissed anyone before Carradine. While filming the scene she reportedly grew uncomfortable and disgusted. The director yelled at her to perform professionally during the scene. Instead, it was her co-star, Carradine who had to reassure her. “This doesn’t count. It’s pretending. It’s all make-believe,” Carradine reassured her. In the documentary, she explains that she got through the awkward moment on set by separating the sleazy on-screen version of herself from the real her. “I learned to compartmentalise at an early age. It was a survival technique.”

Shields was barely a teenager when working on the movie, and her mother, Teri Shields, faced extensive backlash for allowing her daughter to participate in PDA scenes. Teri defended her decision to enroll Shields into the spotlight from such a young age in a TV interview saying: “Brooke is like a work of art. And like any beautiful painting, the world should view Brooke and enjoy her."


Shields' two daughters, Rowan Francis, 19, and Grier Hammond, 16, whom she shares with her husband, television writer Chris Henchy. According to Daily Mail, Shields's daughter Rowan also refused to watch the controversial film and had asked her mother, “It’s child pornography! Would you have let us [do that] at the age of 11?” Shields had immediately replied “No” before breaking down into tears. Recalling the conversation, in an interview, she said: “That was hard for me, to not justify my mom to them, but when they asked, I thought, ‘Oh God, I have to admit this.’” She continued: “I mean, I could say, ‘Oh, it was the time back then,’ or ‘Oh, it was art.’ But I don’t know why she thought it was all right. I don’t know.”

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Theo Wargo
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Theo Wargo


US Magazine reports that Brooke’s complex relationship with her late mother and former manager is the major focus of the documentary, but the actress also revealed parts of her life that had never been made public before — including an alleged rape in her 20s.

“I did not know if or when or if at all I was ever going to bring this up,” she mentioned ahead of Pretty Baby's release. “It has taken me many years of therapy to even be able to talk about it. I definitely have worked very hard through it, and I’ve learned to process it. And I’ve come to a place, and we’ve come to a time in our society, where we can talk about these things much more openly.”



She added, “I wanted to share this story with other men and women who might possibly be struggling or trying to survive this, hoping that at least if I share the incident and the story then it helps others to work through whatever they need to work through. I’m hoping to be that type of an advocate.”

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