In “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields”, a documentary premiering Friday at the Sundance Film Festival in the United States, American actress Brooke Shields reveals that she was raped at the start of her Hollywood career.
The former supermodel has kept the identity of her attacker a secret, but said she tracked down the man – whom she knew – shortly after graduating from college, believing he had acted of a work meeting to discuss its participation in a casting for a new film. The man took her back to her hotel, claiming to want to call a taxi for her from her room. He instead went to the bathroom before emerging naked and raping her, she said.
“It was like a fight… I was afraid of getting choked or something“, testifies the actress in the documentary. “I didn’t argue much. I did not do it. I was just completely petrified. I thought my ‘no’ should have been enough. And I was just like, ‘stay alive and go’“. After the assault, Brooke Shields recalls phoning a friend who worked in security, Gavin de Becker, who told her: “It’s a rape“, to which she replied: “I’m not ready to believe it“. Until now, the actress had never spoken publicly about her attack.
This revelation, which echoes the #MeToo wave, is one of many poignant moments in the film, which will be released on the Hulu streaming platform in two parts.
The first part is devoted to the intense sexualization that Brooke Shields was subjected to at a very young age, notably during a naked photo shoot at the age of 10, as well as after her appearance at 11 in the film. “Pretty Babyin which she played a child prostitute.
The documentary shows a young Brooke Shields facing lustful questions from much older men on talk shows about her roles in movies like “The blue lagoon” Where “An endless love“, and the controversial series of Calvin Klein commercials in which she appeared. After achieving worldwide stardom as a teenager, the young woman went to Princeton University. After graduating, she first struggled to find roles again – leading to the grim encounter with her rapist.
“My personal message is persistence, and don’t allow yourself to become a victim in the eyes of any society or industry.“, she told AFP before the premiere of the film at the festival held until January 29 in Utah (western United States) – for the first time face-to-face in three years, because of the Covid-19.”I’m proud of how I’ve continued to learn, grow, work and love what I do“, she added.
The documentary, which earned Ms Shields a standing ovation at Sundance, also chronicles the media’s obsession with her virginity, her mother’s alcoholism and her first marriage to tennis star Andre Agassi. Several of his famous friends are interviewed there, including Lionel Richie, Laura Linney and Drew Barrymore. The actress, who is now 57, said it was “the right moment in (her) lifeto appear in a documentary.
Thursday had already been screened the documentary “Justice“, which explores sexual assault charges against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Director Doug Liman’s first documentary (“The Bourne Identity“), it shows the testimony of Deborah Ramirez, one of Mr Kavanaugh’s accusers, with whom she studied at Yale.
There is also an audio recording of a man who studied with them, who says he saw the judge showing off in front of another woman, “very drunk“, at a party. This last testimony was published in the American media only months after the very controversial nomination of Mr. Kavanaugh in 2018. The woman in question, whose identity is not revealed, says he has no recollection of the incident Brett Kavanaugh has denied any sexual assault.