Actress Brooke Shields reveals in a new documentary that she was raped by someone she knew shortly after returning to Hollywood from Princeton University.
Shields tells the story for the first time in “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” — a new Hulu documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday and is named for the 1978 film in which Shields, then just 11 years old, played a child prostitute.
The “Blue Lagoon” actress had made a name for herself as a teen but found herself adrift when she returned to California after graduating from Princeton, Entertainment Weekly reported. After struggling to find parts on her own, she said that she met with a man she knew to discuss some potential upcoming projects over dinner.
“He said, ‘Come back to the hotel and I’ll call a cab,’ and I go up to the hotel room, and he disappears for a while,” Shields recounted in the film, adding that she felt uncomfortable as soon as she got to the room.
Shortly after they got to the room, she said the man disappeared — at which point she picked up a pair of binoculars and watched a volleyball game out the window.
“The door opens, the person comes out naked, and I’ve got the binoculars and I’m like, ‘S***. And I put the binoculars down and he’s right on me. Just like, was wrestling,” Shields continued.
“I was afraid I’d get choked out or something, so I didn’t fight that much,” Shields went on, saying that she was afraid running might encourage the man to react in a more violent manner. “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,” Shields added. “I went down in the elevator, and I got my own cab. I just cried all the way to my friend’s apartment.”
Shields said that even though she had clearly been traumatized by the event, it took her a long time to admit that it had been rape.
“He said, ‘That’s rape,'” Shields said of her Security specialist Gavin de Becker. “And I said, ‘I’m not willing to believe that.'”
She even blamed herself for what happened, she said, because it was just what she had to do to make it make sense in her own head. “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.”
She later said that she wrote her attacker — whom she never names in the documentary — and told him that he had destroyed her trust.