Brooke Shields calls Barbara Walters’ interview with her as a teen ‘practically criminal’

Brooke Shields seems to be staging a midlife comeback career. Brooke stars in A Castle for Christmas on Netflix and has launched a lifestyle brand. Brooke is creating a new beginning for herself while looking back at her past, particularly how she was sexualized as a teen. Brooke starred in the “You wanna know what comes between me and my Calvin’s? Nothing” ads at the tender age of fifteen. The line became so sexualized that her ad and commercial were banned in Canada and a few other countries. Barbara Walters interviewed Brooke at the time and asked her invasive questions. Brooke talked about this on The Armchair Expert Podcast with Dax Shepard. Dax asked Brooke about that infamous Barbara Walters interview and this is what Brooke had to say (via People):

After the backlash, Shields did a number of interviews, including one with Barbara Walters, she was asked a series of intimate and invasive questions about her sexual history.

While discussing the sexualization of young celebrities during the podcast episode, Shepard called her interview with Walters “maddening.”

“It’s practically criminal,” Shields agreed. “It’s not journalism.”

In October, Shields spoke about the public backlash she received in the wake of the campaign, calling it “ridiculous.”

“I was away when they all came out, and then started hearing, ‘Oh, the commercials have been banned here, and Canada won’t play them.’ And paparazzi and people screaming at me and screaming at my mother, ‘How could you?’ It just struck me as so ridiculous, the whole thing,” Shields recalled.

She continued, “They take the one commercial, which is a rhetorical question. I was naive, I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t think it had to do with underwear, I didn’t think it was sexual in nature. I would say it about my sister, ‘Nobody can come between me and my sister.’ “

[From People]

So much has been coming out about Barbara Walters and the way she treats other women. I have been shocked by the revelations about Barbara and I know I shouldn’t be. Seeing that interview through adult eyes is very cringe now and Barbara was definitely out of pocket in the way she approached Brooke. I have also seen Barbara do this with Dolly Parton and Dolly shut her down. I believe Brooke when she said that she didn’t connect what she said in her Calvin Klein ad to not wearing underwear or to anything sexual. She was that innocent and sheltered but her mother and Calvin Klein’s team knew. I feel a lot of the drama that Brooke experienced when she was younger was because of her mom’s lack of judgment. A lot of the adults around Brooke did her no favors either. She is right what Barbara did to her was not journalism. Asking a teenage girl about her sexual experience because of an ad is not journalism at all and it should never have been greenlit by the network either. I also find it disgusting how people sexualized a fifteen year old girl. Despite Dax getting on my last nerve, I am definitely going to listen to this episode of Armchair Expert because I enjoy hearing Brooke speak about her life. I have always found her so fascinating.

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95 Responses to “Brooke Shields calls Barbara Walters’ interview with her as a teen ‘practically criminal’”

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  1. manda says:

    Her mother had her do Pretty Baby AND Blue Lagoon. Both movies are creepy and would never be made today

    • Courtney B says:

      I’m embarrassed I loved BL as a kid. It was on hbo all the time then since they only had like six movies.

      • manda says:

        I watched it as a pre-teen because I thought Chris Atkins was soooooo cute, but the sex did make me uncomfortable. However, I am embarrassed by how many times I watched revenge of the nerds as a kid! Such an awful movie. At least the kids in Blue Lagoon were in love with/cared for one another

      • Twin falls says:

        I know I saw Blue Lagoon at some point but I was 5 when it was first in the theaters. This just reminded me that The Pirate Movie was my favorite movie for a while as a kid. 🤷‍♀️ (I had to google singing pirate movie for the name.)

      • manda says:

        @ Twin falls — omg! The Pirate Movie. Practically lost to time but I do remember it, too. I also loved it but then forgot all about it for years and years!

    • smcollins says:

      I came upon Pretty Baby on tv a few years ago (I of course knew about the movie but had never seen it). I was so appalled by the nudity (it was obviously Brooke and not a double) that I had to look away and ultimately change the channel because I actually felt guilty about seeing that. I know times were “different” back then but c’mon…I’m so glad she was able to come out of that exploitative time in her youth and not wind up another child star statistic.

      • manda says:

        It’s amazing that she is as well-adjusted and normal as she is. I know she was smart, maybe that helped

      • BeanieBean says:

        I’m so impressed with Brooke being able to do those talk shows at such an early age & be so articulate. Her brains, her beauty, and her ‘it’ factor were/are off the charts.

      • terra says:

        wrong place

    • Sof says:

      Don’t forget about Playboy at 10. I repeat, she posed nude for playboy at TEN. Her mother, the photographer, the magazine, everyone is gross.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      her mother was right up there with Drew Barrymore’s mother as far as pushing her to work, but her mother DID do a better job of keeping her from major shenanigans OFF screen, unlike Jaid Barrymore.

      I’ll always have a soft spot for Brooke as she attended college in my hometown when I was in middle/high school. it was always exciting to see her around town. also, she’s one of those women who you know is beautiful but is literally STUNNING when you see her in person. like stop-and-stare stunning.

      • Kathy Griffin used to have CRAZY stories about Brooke’s drunk mom in her stand-up act. (Remember she starred with Brooke on that show and they have stayed friends) Teri Shields always sounded like the most exploitative stage mother ever, and how Brooke managed to stay even-keeled is one of life’s mysteries.

    • Detnow359 says:

      Teri Shields was horrible and Brooke has said as much. Maybe because her mother has been dead for awhile, and suffered with dementia, she’s showing grace but her mother looked at her as a money maker and success in Hollywood she herself couldn’t achieve. She had Brooke posed nude at 10 years old for Playboy publication God’s sake. Then there was Pretty Baby,Blue Lagoon and the Klein ads, which took on a life of their own. Barbara interviewed a young woman who unfortunately had been sexualized due to her own mother’s greed. It’s a wonder she’s not more messed up.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      She also was in the movie Endless Love. My mother told me I could not see the movie even though I told her Brooke Shields was not an adult. I was maybe 13 and bought and read the book, which was my first romance where there was love making. It was way different to Sweet Valley High and Sweet Dream teen romance novels.

  2. Driver8 says:

    Barbara Walters is a terrible person. She was super rude to guests she didn’t like when she was on the View. I tuned out when a woman who had a brief teenage affair with JFK was on promoting her book. BW kept saying “I know you’ll make a lot of money with this book” and other demeaning, shitty things. Being a pioneer in journalism doesn’t absolve her and I’m glad she’s being called out.

  3. Courtney B says:

    Her mother had worse than bad judgment imo. Brooke, and her looks, were her cash cow. It’s amazing she didn’t crash and burn. And, yes, Calvin Klein knew exactly how people would take that line even if Brooke didn’t. BW’s questions should’ve been for them.

  4. lanne says:

    Remember the “Miley’s shame” headline after Miley did that (gorgeous) Vanity Fair photo of her covering herself with a blanket and exposing her back? Her parents were on set, she was clearly sitting on a chair, and yet everyone blamed MILEY for looking sexual. And this is some 30 years after the Brooke Shields commercial.

    There’s a dangerous idea perpetuated by men, and enabled by older women like Barbara Walters, that sexuality is a “feminine mystery” that all women are inherently born with, and we use our seductive wiles to attract men from childhood. The truth is that these ideas allow men to sexualize women, even girls, at early ages. After all, girls “know what they are doing.”

    That is patently untrue. The sexual images of Miley, and of Brooke before her, were created by adults. Both girls in these instances were merely doing what they were told to do. Obedience is the clearest path to approval for girls–it’s the quality for which girls receive the most praise, outside of being pretty. I went back and read some of those early interviews with Brooke Shields, and I was struck by how many people wrote about how well-behaved she was, how sweet, how kind. She also had a precocious maturity that comes from kids who have professional careers, and spend a lot of time around adults. I think a lot of people mistook that professional precosity for sexual precosity. Brooke was a child, an inexperienced child. It’s horrifying to think how normalized her sexualization was, and how it’s only in recent times that we’re publically examining the way girls have been explicitly and implicitly sexualized.

    I’m so glad Brooke is speaking out about this now. Girls should be allowed to discover their sexuality on their own terms and in safety. The sexuality of girls should not be served on a plate to satisfy the appetites of men. This needs to be condemned in our culture once and for all.

    • equality says:

      Boys in Hollywood aren’t immune either. The “Birth” movie with Nicole Kidman creeped me out.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Yeah, I remember that, and all the hideous slut-shaming and rape-myth acceptance directed at Miley at the time. People definitely cared more about her and other girls’ sexual modesty, and finding young women to scapegoat for all the world’s sex crimes and domestic violence than they ever did about her health, safety, and life, or that of other girls. Besides that, the other thing that stood out was that a teenage boy could have shown just as much or slightly more without the same reaction.

      The other day I read something about a group of teenage boys showing up to school in the same clothes girls get in trouble for to see if there was a double standard. Almost none of the boys ended up getting in trouble at all. I’ll post the link later if I can find it.

    • Margot says:

      Spot on, lanne!

    • MF1 says:

      Yes yes yes. And we need to stop blaming and shaming girls for the actions and decisions of the adults around them. Why was Barbara grilling Brooke about the commercial instead of Calvin Klein or the ad agency that made it? They were the ones who made it and who should’ve been made to answer for it.

    • Jess says:

      I come here for the comments, and this is the best Celebitchy comment I’ve ever read. Thank you! :::smashes subscribe:::

    • NightOwl says:

      Agree with @Jess. Thanks for the insights @Ianne!

    • Queen Meghan's Hand says:

      Also agree with @Jess. So well-said.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Blaming women instead of men is still around today. Look at how many celebrities STILL defend Roman Polanski for drugging and raping a 13-year old girl, with excuses like “she looked older” or “she wasn’t a virgin” or “her mother is really the one at fault because she wasn’t there to stop the rape.” It’s everyone’s fault except the rich man.

    • bisynaptic says:

      this. but brooke shields is being disingenuous. there’s no way that she both didn’t understand the double entendre and still doesn’t get that she got played by the adults in the room (her mother and the ck ppl); viz, her sibling analogy falls flat. also, barbara walters is a terrible person. she’s bffs with henry kissinger, ffs.

      • Bunny says:

        Brooke Shields and I are almost the same age. I think she’s a year or two ahead of me. I didn’t know what it meant at the time and wouldn’t for a long time. Part of it is that teens weren’t as plugged into adult media and life as they are now. We were much more immersed in our own culture, and didn’t put much effort into being adults.

        We had our own makeup (Bonne Belle and others), unique styles, etc. We spent much of our time with other teens our age, not adults.

        As an example, Seventeen magazine was still running articles on how to kiss a boy when I was in high school. That just wouldn’t fly now.

      • Trillion says:

        I am really annoyed by bad analogies, and that “sister” one was particularly stupid.

  5. hoopjumper says:

    I personally find it a little hard to believe she didn’t understand the line had a double meaning. It’s not subtle, and the sister analogy is a reach. But I also believe whether or not she understood it is totally beside the point. It was a 100% inappropriate ad for a 15-year-old to be in, and if they wanted Brooke they should have changed it. Her mother shouldn’t have allowed it, and Walters’ questions about her sexual history were totally gross. Regardless.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Eh, it’s believable. When this controversy was explained to me as a teen decades after it happened I actually didn’t get that line either.

    • Duch says:

      I was just a couple years older than Brooke when this commercial came out (17?), and I didn’t get the double entendre until many months later. So yeah it’s credible she didn’t either. Makes it more despicable.

    • Anna Wojciechowsk says:

      She may have understood that it’s not so innocent but I doubt she understood to full extent. Like young teens talk about sex without understanding how deeply can it affect them. But her mother understood and she should have said no. I have a young daughter and cannot in my life imagine agreeing to put her in a similar situation. And apart from that – why the f*** did they pick a 15yo to say this line? there were no grown women available? It enrages me to the core because I remember all sleazy comments from adults when I was even 13 about my “feminine figure” etc and how uncomfortable that made me and how amusing this was to them, but I lacked awareness to put a finger on it, because apparently the were complimenting me. It’s wrong and only serves abusers – to get us used to feel uncomfortable and still say nothing.

    • lanne says:

      I wouldn’t have understood it at 15. I wouldn’t have completely understood it at 18. At 18 I would have thought, “C’mon, really? She doesn’t mean she’s nekkid under those jeans! What’s wrong with you people!”

    • Gubbinal says:

      I remember it. I am older than Brooke and I did not get it. I think many adolescent and teenaged girls are easy prey. I never had the feeling that I wanted to have sex until I was about 20. You just don’t have the vocabulary and the experience to “get” many things.

    • SpankyB says:

      I was 16 when the ads came out and I didn’t get it. My mom had to tell me what it meant.

      This was also at the time it was a major faux pas to have visible panty lines. Ads to wear panty hose instead of underwear so you wouldn’t get the dreaded VPL. A lot of my friends weren’t wearing underwear anyway so it still didn’t seem like the CK commercials were a big deal.

      • CROOKSNNANNIES says:

        I don’t know if it’s a generational thing but the first time I heard that line I knew exactly what it was about. I don’t know the stats but maybe newer generations are having sex younger? I started having sex at 15 and I’m hoping these comments are more people’s concern with her public exploitation and not an overall criticism of the idea that teens know about/think about/have sex. Brooke was treated terribly but I wouldn’t judge her one but if she were having sex back then- my issue is with how the public treated her.

    • Grace says:

      Totally believable. I didn’t understand it either when I saw it. **naive young teen**
      It’s ALL on the parents IMO.

    • E.D says:

      Yeah, it’s crazy to think how naive, innocent and probably ignorant we all were in the 80’s – especially if you look at things through a 20-something lens.
      I’m the same age as Brooke and there’s no way I got the double-entendre of that C.K ad at the time.
      But then again, I had no idea pop stars like Boy George or George Michael were gay either.

    • MelOn says:

      She’s two years older than me, I remember those commercials, it took awhile for me to catch on.

  6. Rmcgrudiva says:

    Thanks for linking to that Dolly clip; loved it!

    • Twin falls says:

      +1 Dolly is just amazing!!

    • Jais says:

      Just watched that dolly clip and wow. She does not back down to BW and is still so kind, despite Barbara’s abhorent questions. Talk about class.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        That Dolly/BW interview really is an education. Dolly is first class while BW subtlely tried to imply Dolly was less than. Dolly managed to say, in the classiest way possible, you’re flat out wrong with what you think you know about me.

        Brooke, as a teenager, did the same thing.

        I’ll laugh at myself thinking that my teenage admiration of Brooke is still why I have good eyebrows (for a a year or so in my youth I was disgruntled hairs didn’t grow between my brows).

        Both Dolly & Brooke seem to be very genuine, honest people. I would totally watch a show where they interviewed people together (and b*tchslapped BW). Their first guest….the Duchess of Sussex. They have things in common.

        Thank you Oya for the Brooke/Dolly love. Two incredibly intelligent women that people tried to slap down.

        Growing up with lots of sisters, I didn’t see the CK ad as sexual until a few years later. I believed it to be more like, my kung fu grip on my clothes meant my siblings couldn’t run off with them.

  7. Steph says:

    She asked a teenage girl for her measurements. Disgusting. I’m also glad that Brooke (innocently) misunderstood the question.
    Barbara was also extremely demeaning to Britney Spears.

    • Ann says:

      I was thinking of the Britney interview while reading this. Barbara asked teenage Britney invasive questions about her body and sexuality the same way she asked Brooke, as in passively rude and judgemental. Then I saw the clip of her interview with Dolly and it was the same thing. Barbara is an old school mean girl bitch.

      Asking for a teenagers measurements struck me too. Gross! I feel bad for Brooke Shields. So much exploitation and victim blaming at such a young age. Glad she came out of it all OK.

      • Goldie says:

        Re Britney, are you sure guys aren’t thinking of Dianne Sawyer? She did an awful interview with Britney that has resurfaced recently after being featured in the “Framing Britney” doc. Or perhaps Barbara Walters did as well. I don’t know.

      • Ann says:

        It was Diane Sawyer that I’m thinking of. That interview was awful! How sad that we have multiple examples of sexist female journalists.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      At first I mistook Barbara Walters for Diane Sawyer when reading this, and thought of that awful interview where she co-signs a republican expressing a desire to subject young Britney to an honor killing because she doesn’t like the skin she shows.

  8. Totorochan says:

    Sadly, it’s so much, much worse even than suggestive commercials as a teen. The film Pretty Baby has been mentioned above, and when she was ten, Brooke’s mother had her do a photoshoot for a book published by a men’s magazine which would absolutely be a criminal offence today. It’s difficult to believe it was possible even in the mid-seventies. Just absolutely horrifying.

    There was a court case about it in the early eighties and a judge ruled it was ok to re-exhibit the photos because Brooke had already made a career of being a child who was sexualized (put in more salacious terms), while at the same time arguing that the pictures were not salacious in nature (they very much were).

    lanne’s comment above is spot on about how Brooke was treated by the adults around her. Merciless exploitation all round.

  9. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    I listened to Brooke’s audiobook “There Was a Little Girl” a couple of months ago and it was very interesting. Her mother was extremely flawed and I think that Brooke still has some blind spots regarding her mother.

    • Teri says:

      Agreed! Her mother managed her career and put her in all these unsavory situations but she seems to give her a pass. Always makes me scratch my head. But glad Brooke is doing well and I enjoyed A Castle for Christmas-mindless Holliday fun.

  10. Pork chops & Apple sauce says:

    The media and the public reacted to a highly sexual campaign. By todays standards, much of what BShields was in would be so considered child porn. But BW had no place asking her about her sexual history. Calvin Klein team AND Brooke’s mom knew, it was over the top, even for the time.


    She came across as very poised in that interview, as well as very young and innocent. It was sweet of her to say those things about her mom but looking at it as an outsider all these years later, it doesn’t seem like her mom had her best interests at heart. It will be interesting to watch how Brooke handles Kaia’s career. I am in no way saying Brooke is going to exploit her, and it sounds like Brooke understands a lot now that she didn’t before. But I still think modeling is kind of screwy and having your parent manage you can be difficult.

    • Nikki* says:

      Brooke is not Kaia’s mother, Cindy Crawford is.

    • Summergirl says:

      Kaia is Cindy Crawford’s daughter…I don’t think Brooke is pushing her kids out into fame the way Cindy is.

      • CROOKSNNANNIES says:

        Thank you for the correction! Pardon my early morning mistake! 🤦‍♀️

      • Courtney B says:

        Her daughter Rowan is at college right now. Both girls are really lovely. The younger one is especially beautiful and really tall. She could be a model if she wanted with the connections. But Brooke, unlike many famous moms, isn’t pushing her there. She did say she was really interested in fashion though.

  12. Otaku fairy says:

    Yeah that’s awfully shitty of Barbara. Based on what people have described it sounds like Brooke’s mom definitely didn’t always show the best judgment, particularly when she was a preteen. I can’t imagine letting a kid of either sex do that.
    That being said, it doesn’t make Barbara’s behavior or anyone else being crappy less at fault. Regardless of what was seen, everyone is 100% responsible for their own misogyny and behavior. Plus, we’ve seen over and over again that people will still sexualize and be misogynistic toward young girls in the public eye even when they aren’t allowed to do the things Brooke was allowed to do. I wouldn’t put it past our society to have still treated her like that anyway- the world has been TI for young girls for a long time. It’s sad that her reaction to losing her virginity was worrying about it tarnishing her Good Girl image.

  13. ReginaGeorge says:

    Her mother was more of a problem than Barbara ever was. Google Brooke Shields, Sugar and Spice. Her mom had her take nude pics at 10 YEAS OLD! that were then used in Playboy Mags jailbait sister publication, called Sugar and Spice, that featured young girls in suggestive poses.

    Then there was Pretty Baby and Blue Lagoon and the CK ads. Her mother was the one that should have protected her, instead she exploited her because she was living vicariously though Brooke and of course, the money. Brooke to this day seems naive and insulated from the fact that her mom was pretty much more than complicit with her oversexualization as a child and she’s lucky she didn’t end up like Lohan, Bynes, Spears, Stodden and all these other women who have had a terrible life adjusting to being objectified and exploited at such a young age.

    • AppleCart says:

      it’s a double edged sword with her Mother. While she exploited her for fame and fortune sexualizing her on screen and print . She also kept her on lockdown and no one was able to get to her to sexually abuse her like other child stars were at that time.

      • lanne says:

        Brooke, in a way, was fortunate that her mother treated her like a high-stakes commodity. She agrred to allow her daughter to be sexualized in ways that are considered abhorrent today, but she was also fiercely protective of her, and didn’t let anyone near her. Whatever her motives, the result was that Brooke was never exploited behind the camera the way she was exploited in front of the camera.

    • Sigmund says:

      The Sugar and Spice thing is horrifying. I checked out the Snopes article, which was enough for me. I thought maybe there was detail I was missing, as this occurred before my time…nope, this was an actual nude photo shoot with a ten year old. That poor girl (now woman). Her mother completely failed her.

  14. Snazzy says:

    I’ve never listened to this podcast but I might just for this interview. I’m really glad she’s speaking out what happened to her and how she sees things now through adult eyes.

  15. CapPhD says:

    I love your posts and voice, Oya. Brooke Shields was a beautiful girl from a well-heeled family who was exploited by many adults for money. Her book Down Came the Rain gave me language to talk about what happens after an emergency C-section. I will always be grateful for that work.

  16. Bettyrose says:

    I remember when she started at Princeton and David Letterman did a “top 10 things Brooke Shields will study at Princeton” of course mocking her intelligence. We put up with so much misogyny. It was so normal.

  17. Miss Melissa says:

    The way she was treated as a teenager was abusive and criminal. And she has her mother to blame for that. Her mother sold her out and made money off of her, sexualized her early and had no problems with unleashing her on an industry known for toxic abuse. When pretty baby came out, frankly, she should’ve been taken from her mother.

    However, Brooke was a smart girl and had a chance to get out. She took a break, went to college at Princeton, earned a Fulbright scholarship and could’ve gone a completely different way. She had the credentials to get out, but didn’t. Instead she came right back to the industry and worked to reignite her career, marrying the most famous outrageous tennis player at the time to become a celebrity super couple, putting her career in the hands of his management team who got her a TV gig and she was off to the races. I’m not buying her story now.

    If she doesn’t like the question she was asked by Barbara Walters she should look to her mother, who approved the interview.

    • Ann says:

      Except when she did TV as an adult, she was far more aware of what the material was and had more control over it. I remember she did that show “Suddenly Susan,” which was a sitcom and not at all exploitative. There’s nothing wrong with acting as a career, and if she wanted to keep doing it after her education was complete, why shouldn’t she?

      There is a massive difference between doing highly sexualized material as a young girl/teen and doing ANY material as a consenting adult.

      • Persephone says:

        Agreed. I remember that after college, she took charge of her career and was at odds with her mother over it.

      • bettyrose says:

        I forgot about Suddenly Susan! It wasn’t great, all tv was just a vehicle for advertisements back then, but it was as solid a sitcom as any of them. The single girl in the city trope has been rehashed a gazillion times since the success of Mary Tyler Moore, but the show had its moments.

    • Mina_Esq says:

      So because she was sexualized as a child, she needed to give up the work that she enjoyed? And how dare she fall in love with someone famous? Honestly, this is the same logic that blames abused women for staying in abusive relationships. It’s disappointing.

    • thinking aloud says:

      The stuff she’s done as an adult hasn’t really been sexual or provocative, I don’t think.

      Isn’t her latest movie a Hallmark Christmas movie? I wouldn’t mind being paid to do a Hallmark movie.

  18. AmyB says:

    I think it is beyond sad and tragic to see what really went on with Brooke here, and many other young women in Hollywood, now through the lens of today. Look at Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Miley and others who were so overly sexualized at a young age. And then brutally attacked in the media later. Sadly, many of them didn’t have parents to protect them – rather they had money hungry vultures looking at them like a gravy train for millions. I am glad that these women are speaking out today about it! And these journalists – ugh!! Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, they played their part in it as well. Just disgusting on so many levels!!

  19. observer says:

    “I feel a lot of the drama that Brooke experienced when she was younger was because of her mom’s lack of judgment”

    please let’s not pretend that her mother wasn’t a Kris Jenner blueprint, this is the same mother that oiled up her 10 yr old daughter and had nude pictures of her taken. she knew what she was doing.

  20. Jan90067 says:

    I got to meet her once, when my BIL was a writer on her show, “Suddenly Susan”. She was so nice, so gracious to everyone on set.

    MAD magazine did a spoof of the show, with Brooke on the cover. I was a HUGE collector of MAD back in youth/young adulthood; I kept *every* issue lol. MAD had an “offer” that if you sent in a pic with the celeb on the cover holding the mag, you’d get a free 3 yr. subscription. So, I sent my copy of the mag with my Polaroid camera w/my BIL to ask her if she’d take a pic, posing with the cover. She did it w/out hesitation, BIG smile in the pic. I got my 3 yr subscription lol

    • observer says:

      that’s amazing, i used to read MAD all the time as a kid (a lot of stuff probably went…over my head) it would be awesome to see that photo lol

      • Jan90067 says:

        I wish I still had it, along with my MADs!! I gave my HUGE collection to my nephews when they were teens, along with all of my MAD books, hoping they’d love it as much as I did. Well, guess they didn’t, because they tossed the lot out!! I was *so* disappointed (and upset! I’d’ve taken them all back!). More than half were in *great* condition as I didn’t crease the backs for the 3 panel fold (remember how the folds would come together for a “different” pic?)

        Sigh… YOUTH! 😄

  21. Jaded says:

    Brooke and her mother Teri eventually became estranged, they parted ways in 1995 because, in Brooke’s description, her mother ruled her career with “an iron fist”. She also mentioned that her mother was an alcoholic and being a “caretaker” for her mother was very difficult. They managed to reconnect a few years before she died of dementia.

  22. AA says:

    I’ve always loved Brooke. She’s a little older than I am. I’ve read all her books she wrote as an adult and found them really interesting. Her “Down Came the Rain” really helped me with post-partum issues. No one has ever said anything bad about her; she seems like a person who “gets it” in terms of real life even though she acknowledges how privileged she was/is. Her mom was a total nut job, though. I’m glad she’s as adjusted as she is, as I agree it could have gone the other way. Team Brooke forever.

  23. thinking aloud says:

    The ad is before my time, but I’ve seen it featured in documentaries etc. I didn’t realize the ad was referring to underwear (is it? She mentions the word “underwear” in the interview. I’m so confused). I just thought the ad was referring to the actual jeans — whoops. As in, nothing is getting those jeans off. Even with the jeans, the idea is still suggestive but the underpants part of the equation never occurred to me.

    I can see the provocativeness of the ad, but I don’t think it dawned on me to see it as a continuous link to the Marky Mark/Kate Moss ads, even though the line is referenced later on. I thought the actual ad was about jeans.

  24. AppleCart says:

    I am a couple years younger than Brooke and I remember these commercials. And I didn’t see then what I see now. And when these ads hit every girl in my school and Calvin Klein’s and Jordache jeans. They were the jeans to have.

  25. Mina_Esq says:

    It’s sooooo cringe watching middle aged men ask this teen girl about her virginity and sex. Gross. And then Barbara treating her like she is just a piece of meat. This poor girl had to laugh it off, and with more maturity than any of these clowns. I want to travel back in time and give her a hug. Also, Brook is still such a beautiful woman. I’m definitely going to listen to the podcast.

  26. Sarah I says:

    When it comes to Calvin Klein and Brooke’s mother and others, the only one who can claim innocence here is Brooke. But I tell you, in looking at those ads again, I gasped when I saw them again, especially the shot of her crotch in the jeans. That’s inexcusable.

  27. tempest prognosticator says:

    How did Brooke grow into a seemingly healthy, well-adjusted adult? Her childhood and teens years were spent being exploited by all the adults around her.

    • thinking aloud says:

      I wondered about this.

      I don’t think the mother should have let her do those commercials and films since she’s obviously being commodified in a way that could have some psychological impact, but it does seem like the mother made sure other people couldn’t actually physically get near her. That must have made some kind of difference.

      You hear of other actors who did more family-friendly films, but on set actual people are getting near the young teens to hurt them (i.e Nickelodeon shows or Different Strokes?). Then of course some kind of breakdown follows. The content or messaging of a family movie like ET would obviously be more appealing to families in the audience and my default assumption is that’s the kind of content that wouldn’t adversely affect a child, but what actually goes on on set or where they’re taken to afterwards (Drew Barrymore going to Club 54) probably affects these actors just as much.

      I’m just speculating. But it does sound like Brooke often mentions that her mother made sure no one could actually get to her.

  28. Ana170 says:

    I agree her mother had terrible judgment. I’ve never had much respect for Barbara Walters as a “journalist”. It’s not just about women. She was just bad at her job. She was constantly in over her head, asking the worst questions and being unable to deal with any answers that she didn’t like.

  29. Margo says:

    Please, listen to the interview. She explains A LOT. MAJOR TAKEAWAY: She does not feel victimized by the films she was in as a child – she is grateful for the experiences. Listen to the interview.

    • Sigmund says:

      I mean, and this is in no way meant to take away her agency, but just because she doesn’t feel victimized doesn’t mean she wasn’t. There’s a lot of denial and self protection that goes on.

      And honestly, her having to pose nude as a child is definitely victimization, even if she doesn’t use that word. It’s child abuse.

  30. Ameerah says:

    It’s been well known for years how awful Babs is. All you had to do was watch The View. She doesn’t like other women.

  31. paranormalgirl says:

    I have a friend who knew Brooke when she was younger, she lived near Brooke’s father in Glen Cove on Long Island. She always said Brooke was the sweetest girl.