57-year-old actress Brooke Shields has said that she is “amazed” she “survived” being sexualized at just 11 years old.
Shields who teared up as she remembered being “catapulted into the world of adult sexuality” in the trailer for her two-part documentary called “Pretty Baby,” recounted how she was being called “the most photographed woman in the world,” being tagged an “iconic American beauty,” an “object of desire,” and a “sexualized child model.”
The documentary, which looks back at her decades-long career in the spotlight and is called after one of her first films in which she portrays a child prostitute, looks back at the times she believed she was just a “beautiful face.”
In one occasion, a male writer branded her “an exquisite-looking young lady” and a “beautiful girl” when she was barely a pre-teen.
Then, at just 16 years old in 1981, she was chosen for the cover of Time Magazine as the face of the 80s era. Shocked, she asked, “Who decides that?” Shields also recalled, “I was struggling to find my own voice, I wasn’t told it was important to have agency.”
However, once she found her confidence, she realized she could have her “own opinion” and her “own voice.” “Now, it’s like I’m allowed to be a human being,” she concluded at the end of the trailer.
The “Hannah Montana” star disclosed in the same documentary that she was raped shortly after graduating from college in 1987.
The actress, who has daughters Rowan, 19, and Grier, 16, with husband Chris Henchy, left Hollywood in the 1980s to attend Princeton University.
She had dinner with a man after returning to the industry to discuss potential acting projects. He allegedly persuaded her to return to his hotel.
Shields remembered, noting that he told her he was calling a cab, but returned to the room naked. She said;
“I go up to the hotel room, and he disappears for a while. I didn’t fight that much. I didn’t. 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 practiced that.”
The “Suddenly Susan” actress admitted she did not process the assault for several years and even placed the blame on herself for some time.
“He said to me, ‘I can trust you, and I can’t trust people.’ It’s so cliché, it’s practically pathetic.
“I believed somehow I put out a message, and that was how the message was received. I drank wine at dinner. I went up to the room. I just was so trusting.”