Actor Sharon Stone lost custody of her child in 2004 because of her brief nudity scene in “Basic Instinct,” she revealed in a podcast interview on Tuesday.
While discussing the impact of the iconic film on her life, Stone told the Table for Two podcast that her controversial role in the psychological thriller as Catherine Tramell — a serial killer and the protagonist’s love interest — led people, and the legal system, to make assumptions about her actual personality and parenting ability.
“I lost custody of my child,” she said. “When the judge asked my child — my tiny little tiny boy — ‘Do you know your mother makes sex movies?,’ like, this kind of abuse by the system, this kind of abuse that I was considered what kind of parent I was because I made that movie.”
Stone and her husband at the time, newspaper editor Phil Bronstein, adopted a son in 2000. Bronstein filed for divorce in 2003 and ended up receiving custody of their child — a situation that Stone says caused her heartbreak.
“I ended up in the Mayo Clinic with extra heartbeats in my upper and lower chamber of my heart,” she said. “It broke my heart.”
Stone also noted how different things are today, compared to when she was judged by her character during her custody battle.
“People are walking around with no clothes on at all on regular TV now. And you saw maybe like a sixteenth of a second of possible nudity of me,” she said.
On top of losing custody of her child, Stone said other people in the industry looked down on her for being involved in films that pushed the envelope like “Basic Instinct.”
“I got nominated for a Golden Globe for that part, and when I went to the Golden Globes and they called my name, a bunch of people in the room laughed,” she said. “I was so humiliated. And I was like, does anybody have any idea how hard it was to play that part? And kind of try to carry this complex movie that was really breaking all boundaries?”
As a result of the fallout of “Basic Instinct” — personal and professional — Stone said she avoids playing characters who have dark personalities or who are very sexualized.
“It is brutal to play these characters,” the “Casino” actor explained. “And this is why I don’t play them anymore.”
Stone ended her discussion on the topic with the reminder that people should not confuse actors with their characters, adding that what happened to her in her custody battle should be “illegal.”
“I mean the guy who played Jeffery Dahmer — no one thinks he’s a [person] who eats people,” she said. “It makes him a very complex person who took an incredibly difficult part, which probably made him ill to play.”
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