Paul Verhoeven denies that Sharon Stone slapped him over Basic Instinct ‘vagina shot’

Actor claimed in her memoir that she was told to remove her underwear as it was ‘reflecting the light’

Sharon Stone claims Basic Instinct director told her to hand him her underwear

Paul Verhoeven has denied being slapped by Sharon Stone over the infamous leg uncrossing scene in Basic Instinct.

In her memoir The Beauty of Living Twice, which was released earlier this year, Stone claimed that she was tricked into filming what she dubbed “the vagina shot” in the 1992 erotic thriller. The scene saw Stone’s character uncross her legs during a police interrogation scene and reveal to a group of officers that she is not wearing underpants.

Stone claimed that Verhoeven had asked her to remove her white underwear while filming as it was “reflecting the light”, and hadn’t told her that the full-frontal shot would be used in the movie. When she saw the scene at a test screening, she claimed she “went to the projection booth, slapped Paul across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer.”

Verhoeven has now called Stone’s claims “nonsense”, adding: “She didn’t slap me at all.”

The Dutch filmmaker told Deadline: “We are on good terms, Sharon and I, at the moment, so I would put [that story] in the category of ‘My memory is this, and your memory is that.’”

Verhoeven claimed that the scene was inspired by a woman he had met while studying at university, who approached him and his friends and “opened her legs”. When Verhoeven told the woman that she was exposing herself, she allegedly replied: “Of course – that’s why I’m doing it!”

Sharon Stone in the infamous leg uncrossing scene in ‘Basic Instinct'

“I told that story to Sharon when we were having dinner together during the shoot, and she thought it would be [a] great idea to do that [in the film]”, he continued. “So, that’s my memory. She heard the story, and you know, in Joe Eszterhas’s script, there was already a mention [of that] in dialogue that he wrote between Michael Douglas and Sharon. They’re in the car, after the interrogation. It’s raining, and Sharon says to Michael, ‘You know I don’t like to wear any underwear, don’t you, Nick?’

“So that was already in the script, but, of course, the [leg uncrossing] scene was not in the script – that came into the movie when I discussed it with Sharon, when I told her the story. I know her story is a bit different, but that’s my story.”

Verhoeven, who has also directed cult classics including Elle, Showgirls and Starship Troopers, is currently at the Cannes Film Festival with a period drama about a lesbian nun experiencing strange, erotic visions.

Verhoeven’s film is one of a number of movies included in our preview of this year’s festival.

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