Brooke Shields has discussed how her mother safeguarded her from sexual harassment in Hollywood, revealing her protective nature gave her “a life”.
Shields achieved fame at a very young age, participating in her first modelling campaign at the age of 11 months and receiving critical acclaim for her role in the 1978 film Pretty Baby at the age of 12.
While Pretty Baby was praised by critics, it also caused controversy due to Shields’ portrayal of a child prostitute in New Orleans during the early 20th Century.
Shields’ mother, Teri Shields, was by her daughter’s side throughout her shooting rise to stardom, so much so that she irked some high-profile members of the entertainment industry, according to the actor.
“I had a very protective mum. They hated her, because they couldn’t get to me, but that gave me a life,” Shields tells The Telegraph’s Stella magazine.
When asked how she views the rapid growth of the #MeToo movement in Hollywood, Shields explains that her mother’s actions protected her from predatory advances during the early stages of her career.
“You can argue any of it, but as far as being scarred or feeling less than… l know that I was loved, really, really loved, by my mother… I was so sequestered,” the actor says.
“There’s a lot to be said for that in that industry. So I don’t have that experience in the same way.”
Shields reveals how her mother dealt with men who she believed were acting in an inappropriate manner towards her daughter.
“If anybody looked at me sideways, she was like, ‘I will cut your balls off and make you eat them.’ She had that kind of fierceness to her,” the actor states.
Shields’ mother, who struggled with alcoholism, took on the role of her daughter’s manager in the early stages of the star’s career and had control of her finances until the actor’s early twenties.
Shields eventually parted ways with her mother as her manager, although the pair remained close until Teri’s death in 2012 following a dementia diagnosis.
In 2014, Shields released a memoir called There Was a Little Girl, which details the ups and downs of her relationship with her mother.