Brooke Shields reveals why she spoke out about being raped

‘It has taken me years of therapy to even be able to talk about it,’ the actor says

Amber Raiken
New York
Tuesday 24 January 2023 05:23 GMT
Related: Brooke Shields reveals she was raped but kept attack secret for decades

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Brooke Shields revealed why she publicly spoke out about being raped in her early twenties.

The 57-year-old model discussed her new documentary, Pretty Baby, and how it recounts her experience with sexual assault during a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

“It has taken me many years of therapy to even be able to talk about it,” she told the publication. “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. I had no idea I was going to say it.”

She went on to explain how being a parent encouraged her to discuss the experience. The Blue Lagoon star has two daughters Rowan, 19, and Grier, 16, whom she shares with husband Chris Henchy.

“I thought, I have arrived at this place, and I feel as a mother of two young girls that I hope that just by even hearing my incident that I can add myself to becoming an advocate,” Shields continued. “Because this is something that does happen every day, and it should not be happening.”

She further emphasised her stance, adding: “I felt that I had arrived at a place where I could talk about it. It’s taken me a long time.”

“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,” she added. “I’m hoping to be that type of an advocate.”

Shields first revealed that she was sexually assaulted in her documentary, telling viewers that it happened just after she had graduated from Princeton University. She recalled that she was struggling to find work at the time and had met with a man for dinner to talk about her career.

“He said, ‘Come back to the hotel and I’ll call a cab,’” she said in the film, per Entertainment Weekly. “And I go up to the hotel room, and he disappears for a while.”

She described how she was feeling uncomfortable, so she distracted herself by looking out of the window with binoculars in the room. The man then “came out naked” and went “right on” her.

Fearful that the man would be more violent to her if she fought back, Shields said: “I just absolutely froze. I thought one ‘no’ should’ve been enough, and I just thought, ‘Stay alive and get out,’ and I just shut it out. God knows I knew how to be disassociated from my body. I’d practised that.”

Shields went on to say that she couldn’t acknowledge that she’d been assaulted, even when her security specialist said that she had been. She also revealed that she later wrote to her attacker, who she did not name, but he dismissed the assault.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.

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