Brooke Shields regrets going public when she was in her early 20s about being a virgin.
Shields, 57, wrote about her virginity in a 1985 book, “On Your Own,” which was about leaving home for the first time. The book was written while she was in college.
“I think it was, in hindsight, a bit of a mistake for me to be so open about my virginity because it never left me alone,” Shields said during an interview with Ali Wentworth on her podcast “Now What?” Tuesday.
Shields said it was a “huge mistake” that she ended up not writing the book herself “because the publisher didn’t want what I wrote. I wrote a very in-depth first chapter, and they didn’t want it that way. They wanted a simple, stupid book like ‘I like leg warmers.’”
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There was a chapter in the book that wasn’t “about abstinence per se but about owning your choice,” she explained.
Shields said she would get fan mail from girls who said their boyfriends were pressuring them to have sex. “And my narrative was you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.”
But once the media learned of the excerpt, she said, she became the “most famous virgin in the world.”
The “Endless Love” actress and Wentworth agreed it was “very creepy” that she would go on TV and be asked about her virginity by “strange older men” during interviews.
“But there was something, to be in the line of fire at such a young age in that way, I gained a resilience. It did sort of set me up to be ready kinda for anything in this industry, which can be difficult,” she said.
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“It begs the question, are you still a virgin?” Wentworth joked about the wife and mother of two before pivoting to Shields losing her virginity to Dean Cain when she was 22.
The 57-year-old said she also has regret around “waiting” for sex “because there was a sense of joy and freedom that I should have been able to feel within a relationship that was so lovely and so beautiful and sweet.”
She said she appreciates the “openness” she has with her daughters in being able to talk to them about sex but is “surprised” that “I’m OK with it for them whereas I wasn’t OK with it for myself.”
In her 2014 memoir, “There was a Little Girl,” about her relationship with her mother, Shields said she felt “guilt” after losing her virginity because her mom had expected her to keep a “vow of chastity.”
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She said her mother was “unjustly judgmental” of her years-long relationship with Cain “and she feared it on a deeper level.”
“I don’t know if she would ever admit to it, but this threat went beyond Catholicism,” Brooks said. “I believe she wanted me to stay hers alone. She believed in an absolute hold she had on me. … And growing up and having sex would mean that I was leaving her.”