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Brooke Shields’ new documentary “Pretty Baby” made headlines at the Sundance Film Festival for her revelation that she was sexually assaulted in her 20s. In a new interview with People magazine, Shields revealed that it was a powerful Hollywood executive who attacked her more than 30 years ago.
“It took me a long time to process it,” Shields said. “I’m angrier now than I was then. If you’re scared, you’re right. They are scary situations. They don’t have to be violent to be scary.”
Shields said she never brought the sexual assault out until the documentary, thinking “no one will believe me,” adding, “People didn’t believe those stories back then. I thought I’d never work again.”
The assault happened at the “low point of my career,” Shields said. She was a recent graduate of Princeton University and booked a meeting with a Hollywood executive. The meeting took the form of a business dinner.
“I thought I was going to get a movie, a job,” Shields said.
The dinner ended with the Hollywood executive taking her back to his hotel room, where he then assaulted her. Shields added, “I didn’t fight. I just froze,” and said she later blamed herself for the attack.
“I kept saying, ‘I shouldn’t have. Why did I go upstairs with him? I shouldn’t have had that drink at dinner,'” Shields said. “It was very easy to break up, because by then it was old-fashioned,” she recalls. “And because it was a fight-or-flight type of choice. Fighting wasn’t an option, so you just leave your body. ‘You’re not there. It didn’t happen.’ ”
In her two-part documentary, Die Variety called “fascinating” and “accomplished” in Sundance’s glowing review, Shields talks about her first experiences in Hollywood for the first time. The film traces her emergence as a children’s advertising model to her sexualization in films, beginning at age 12 in “Pretty Baby” (1978) and then at age 15 in “The Blue Lagoon” (1980). The documentary is directed by Lana Wilson, best known for her Taylor Swift doc ‘Miss Americana’.
“Brooke Shields: Pretty Baby” debuts April 3 on Hulu.