In a documentary, Brooke Shields talks about her toxic marriage with André Agassi, her fight with Tom Cruise and reveals that she was raped at the age of 20

In a documentary, Brooke Shields talks about her toxic marriage to André  Agassi, her fight with Tom Cruise and reveals that she was raped at the age of 20

In a documentary, Brooke Shields talks about her toxic marriage with André Agassi, her fight with Tom Cruise and reveals that she was raped at the age of 20 – Credits: @instagram.com/brookeshields

This Friday, it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Pretty Baby, Brooke Shieldsthe documentary that reviews the life of the protagonist of The blue Lagoon from the beginning of her career, when she was presented as a pre-adolescent “sex symbol”, the stormy relationship she had with her mother Teri, her toxic romance with tennis player André Agassi and her media fight with Tom Cruise. There, in addition, the interpreter speaks for the first time of the rape that she was the victim of when she was 20 years old.

The documentary is directed by Lana Wilson, who was in charge of giving a snapshot of Taylor Swift’s life in Miss American. Its title is not accidental: that was the name of the film directed by Louis Malle, released in 1978, in which Shields played a prostituted girl. That film generated strong criticism not only for naturalizing child prostitution, but for the scenes in which the actress, who was 9 years old at the time, appeared naked.

With Keith Carradine in Pretty Baby

With Keith Carradine in Pretty Baby

However, it also helped the media to insist on the idea of ​​sexualizing girls and adolescents. That is one of the axes of the story, which has archival material such as magazine covers in which Shields is presented as “the girl who drives men crazy”, or fragments of television programs in which male drivers talk about her. without any brake or respect.

Although the actress has been offered to make a documentary about her life on several occasions, this is the first time she felt she was ready to do so. For this reason, she provided the director with a lot of film material, but also images and interviews. However, she decided to delegate to Wilson the choice of narrative axes and focus: “I gave him [a Lana] the files and walked away. I told him, ‘Your narrative and your point of view are a big part of this.’ I am a conduit for a larger conversation. If I had told him: ‘Show that interview!’ then it would have all been about me and my own ego. At the beginning of the process, I drifted away a lot, ego-wise and emotionally. This was not going to be a retrospective of all the highlights of my career. This is actually something bigger. I wanted to hand over the files and say, ‘The story will evolve from you seeing this and from the narrative that you, as the director, want to tell. It is not for me to decide, ”the actress told The Hollywood Reporter.

Brooke Shields in a scene from the controversial film that launched heró  to the fame

Brooke Shields in a scene from the controversial film that launched her to fame

And he continued: “It is a broader conversation about the sexualization of young women. I was in the eye of that storm on many different levels over the decades. I’ve been part of the conversation, or maybe not even a part of the conversation, but part of the focus, and that narrative itself has changed over time, depending on outside influences and the era. I am now the mother of two young women, and the conversation we have about sexuality is much different today than it was. There was barely a conversation about it, for me personally, when I was a kid.”

The director’s approach was clear, and it coincided with the reason why Shields this time agreed to make a documentary about her life: “I’m not interested in the problems of famous people. What interests me is how fame can amplify and potentiate identifiable problems. Life [de Brooke] It has been extremely and completely unique, but her experience of being a woman in the United States is terrifyingly relatable.”

One of the thematic axes of the film is the relationship of the actress with her mother, who made all the decisions at the beginning of her career, while she was battling a strong addiction to alcohol. “I had a feeling that my mother would be at the center of a lot of the conversations. That didn’t surprise me. She has always been a very controversial figure, as well as a central figure in my life,” Shields said. And she recalled: “She was constantly approached by the press, in most cases, in a negative way. And when I was a child, I tried to defend her. She was a guiding thread for a large part of my life. And the line continues in my relationship with my daughters. But what relieved me was that it showed the complexity of our relationship, and the love that cut through that complexity and the difficulties; the nature of how tense that experience is, without commenting on it. It was presented authentically so that people could see it and draw their own conclusions, or use it as a vehicle to understand her own relationship with her mother.”

In his adulthood, there was another “controlling” presence that was added to his mother’s: that of the tennis player André Agassi. “Both he and I were at turning points in our lives when we met,” the actress said in her autobiography. There Was a Little Girl. And the documentary takes up that point. While he had just undergone another operation on her wrist, she was desperately seeking to turn her career around.

They were contacted by Kenny G’s wife, but at the time, Shields was in South Africa filming Running Wild. It was 1993 and the only way they could communicate during the first stretch of their relationship was by fax. They met for the first time in Los Angeles some time later, and after dinner, he accompanied her to her house. And it was exactly that night that the problems began. Being greeted by Teri, he knew it wasn’t going to be easy to bond with Brooke. “I immediately detected some strange vibrations. I instinctively know, regardless of what ends up happening, that this woman and I will never get along, ”explained the athlete in his autobiography.

Brooke Shields with her then-husband, André  Agassi

Brooke Shields with her then-husband, André Agassi

The truth is that beyond the drawbacks, and after four years of relationship, they went through the altar. At the time, Shields had a part in the television sitcom of the moment, friendsand starred in his own show, Suddenly, Susan. But, as he explains in the documentary, the toxic relationship he had with Agassi did not allow him to enjoy success. The fame of the tennis player as a womanizer had her “tormented with jealousy.”

Finally, she found the ideal partner in who is now her husband, Chris Henchy, but her dream of starting a family was not easy for her. After several attempts, she was able to give birth to her first daughter, Rowan. And immediately, she fell into postpartum depression that put her life on hold. Already recovered, she wrote the book Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression (In the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression.) While she was promoting it, Tom Cruise did the same with the movie War of the Worlds. In this context, at a press conference, the actor and firm member of the Church of Scientology, who disbelieves in psychological therapies and the effect of medications, assured that the actress was “dangerous” for saying that she had taken antidepressants. .

That led to a media confrontation that ended with the actor publicly apologizing to him, but the importance of that episode meant that he was also present in the documentary. At one point in the film, the camera zooms in on the headline of an opinion piece Shields wrote in the New York Times: “What Tom Cruise Doesn’t Know About Estrogen.” Actor Judd Nelson is then seen quoting Shields: “Tom Cruise should stick to fighting aliens.” The protagonist, meanwhile, limited herself to describing the confrontation as “ridiculous”.

Although all these aspects of Shields’ life can be compelling, the truth is that to a greater or lesser extent they were addressed both by herself in her autobiography and by the media. However, the actress decided that the documentary gave her the necessary support to face in public for the first time a subject never revealed: the rape of which she was the victim of her when she was 20 years old.

The actress does not mention the name of her attacker, but she tells certain details that coincide with the hundreds of complaints that the movement triggered #MeToo and reveal a modus operandi of the powerful men of Hollywood. According to his account, he met that subject, whom he already knew, shortly after graduating from university. The meeting was in a hotel bar, and the reason was to define the presence of the actress in a new film. Once the meeting was over, she offered him to go up to her room to ask for a taxi to take her to her house. There he raped her.

“I was afraid of drowning or something. I didn’t struggle much, she was absolutely paralyzed. I thought my ‘no’ should have been enough. She just thought: ‘She’s trying to survive and get out of this,’” she recalled. After the attack, Shields phoned a friend who worked in security, and after telling him what happened, he told her that she had been the victim of a rape. “I’m not ready to believe it,” was the only sentence she managed to utter.

In the interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he explained: “I didn’t know if I was ever going to bring this up. It has taken many years of therapy for me to even be able to talk about it. I have definitely worked very hard and learned to process it. And I got to a point, and we’ve gotten to a point as a society, where we can talk about these things a lot more openly. I had no idea he was going to say it. But I hope, as a mother of two girls, that just by hearing about my incident they feel that I can become an advocate. Because this is something that happens every day, and it shouldn’t be happening.”


Eduardo Yáñez takes his love of comics to another level.

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