Brooke Shields is finally telling her story.
The actress is the star of the upcoming bio-doc “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” which focuses on her life as well as the sexualization of young girls in Hollywood.
Opening up about her history in the industry, as well as the objectification of her since her debut in “Pretty Baby” at the age of 9, Shields revealed she was the victim of a sexual assault from a Hollywood professional.
“I did not know if or when or if at all I was ever going to bring this up. It has taken me many years of therapy to even be able to talk about it,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
As for her motivation, the 57-year-old actress says she was inspired by her daughters.
“I had no idea I was going to say it. 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,” she continued. “Because this is something that does happen every day, and it should not be happening. I felt that I had arrived at a place where I could talk about it. It’s taken me a long time.”
When asked about whether she hoped to spark change in Hollywood by sharing her story, she said she was hoping that her story could offer support to other victims struggling like her.
“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,” she added.
As for her own perspective on the way she was treated as a child working in the industry, Shields recalled how little understanding she had of her situation.
“I am now a mother of two young women, and the conversation we have around sexuality is vastly different today than it was. There was hardly any conversation about it, to me personally, when I was a child,” she explained.
An unexpected side effect of telling her story has been the way it’s opened up the conversation between her and her daughters.
“I’m not sure I would’ve had that level of conversation had this documentary [not] come up. To hear their perspective and have them engage with me as young women and for them to talk about me as a child and me as a mother, and to be in that environment together was really touching. This feels like the time is right for [this conversation],” said the actress.
“Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” premieres Jan. 20 at the Sundance Film Festival.