Brooke Shields Calls Her Interview With Barbara Walters "Practically Criminal"

More than four decades since she captivated the country in Calvin Klein commercials, Brooke Shields is shining extra light on the treatment she faced from the media as a teenage supermodel.

By Samantha Schnurr Dec 07, 2021 7:04 PMTags
Watch: Brooke Shields Rocks a Beautiful Floral Gown

Old Brooke Shields interviews don't exactly glow in the modern light. 

Four decades after she starred in those infamous Calvin Klein commercials and ads, the 56-year-old actress is calling out the treatment she faced from the press, particularly when it came time to sitting down with journalists and talk show hosts. During a chat with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman for their Armchair Expert podcast, the actor referred to an interview Barbara Walters did with the young supermodel, calling it "maddening." Brooke was in agreement. 

"It's practically criminal," she said on the Dec. 6 episode. "It is not journalism." While the two did not specify when the interview took place, a clip online of one sit-down between Brooke and Barbara shows the journalist asking for the star's measurements and posing the questions, "Would you be a mother like your mother?" and "But what about the people who say she had no childhood—and accuse you [points to mom Teri Shields]. You took away her childhood."

Reflecting generally on how interviews with her were conducted at that time, Brooke realized her answers would never be enough. "They never wanted my answer," she said. "They wanted their point of view."

Supermodels' First Runway Shows

Fifteen years old at the time Brooke uttered the famous line, "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing," Dax explained that she was also stuck in the middle of two competing narratives simultaneously promoted in the press: That she was sexual and knew exactly what she was saying in the ads, but also that she was a naive and unaware child. 

Getty Images

"They take the one commercial, which is a rhetorical question…I was naive, I didn't think anything of it," Brooke recently said in an October Vogue video. "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.'"

She continued, "What was shocking to me was to be berated by, 'Oh, you knew this was happening. This is what you thought. You were thinking these thoughts.' I was a kid and where I was—I was naive. I was a very protected, sequestered young woman in a bubble that my mom was just paroling the outside of."

Latest News