Brooke Shields has spoken publicly for the first time about being raped by an unnamed man when she was in her twenties.
In her new documentary Pretty Baby, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday (22 January), the former child star shared an account of the assault.
*Warning – details of sexual assault below*
As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Shields says the attack took place just after she had graduated from prestigious university Princeton. Shields 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,’” Shields said. “And I go up to the hotel room, and he disappears for a while.”
She then described how she was feeling uncomfortable, so distracted herself by looking out of the window with binoculars in the room.
“The door opens, the person comes out naked, and I’ve got the binoculars and I’m like, ‘s***,’” she recalled. “And I put the binoculars down and he’s right on me. Just like, was wrestling.”
Explaining how she was fearful that the man would be more violent to her if she fought back, she continued: “I was afraid I’d get choked out or something. So 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 practised that.”
Shields says that she “cried all the way to my friend’s apartment”, but failed to acknowledge that she had been assaulted, even when her security specialist said that she had been.
“He said, ‘That’s rape’ and I said, ‘I’m not willing to believe that,’” she said, admitting that she felt she was responsible for the attack.
“That was what I had to do to my brain,” Shields admitted. “[The attacker] 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.”
Shields said that she later wrote to her attacker, but that he dismissed it. She never names him in the documentary.
Shields was just 12 when she filmed her first movie, Pretty Baby, that her documentary is named after. The film controversially saw Shields kissing actor Keith Carradine, who was 29 at the time, and scenes of Shields nude.
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.