Brooke Shields describes rape in Sundance documentary

Brooke Shields revealed she was raped as a young Hollywood actress in new documentary "Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields," which premiered on day two of the Sundance film festival Friday.

The former supermodel did not reveal the identity of her attacker, but said she met with the man -- someone she already knew -- soon after she graduated college, believing it was a work meeting to discuss casting her in a new movie.

He took her back to his hotel, claiming he would call her a taxi from his room. He instead disappeared to the bathroom before returning naked and assaulting her, she said.

"I didn't fight that much... I just absolutely froze," Shields recalled in the documentary.

"I thought that my one 'no' should have been enough. And I just thought 'stay alive and get out.'"

After the incident, Shields recalled phoning her friend and security head Gavin de Becker, who told her: "That's rape."

She replied "I'm not willing to believe that," and has not spoken of the incident publicly until now.

The revelation -- which echoes #MeToo revelations by prominent and lesser-known Hollywood actresses in recent years -- is one of several shocking moments in the film, which will be released on the Hulu streaming platform in two parts.

Part one examines the intense sexualization Shields experienced as a young girl, including a provocative nude photoshoot at age 10, and her appearance as an child prostitute in the film "Pretty Baby" at age 11.

The documentary shows a young Shields being asked lascivious questions by much older male chat show hosts about her roles in movies such as "The Blue Lagoon" and "Endless Love," and the series of controversial Calvin Klein jeans commercials she starred in.

After experiencing global fame as a teenager, Shields attended university at Princeton, and initially struggled to find acting roles again after she graduated -- leading to the meeting with her alleged rapist.

- 'Perseverance' -

"My personal message is perseverance, and not allowing yourself to become a victim to a society or an industry," she told AFP ahead of the film's premiere at the festival in Utah.

"I'm proud of how I kept learning, kept growing, kept striving and kept loving what I do," Shields said.

The movie, which earned Shields a standing ovation at Sundance, also chronicles the media's later obsession with her virginity, her mother's alcoholism, and her first marriage to tennis star Andre Agassi.

It features several of Shields' famous friends including Lionel Richie, Laura Linney and Drew Barrymore.

Co-founded by Robert Redford, Sundance is a key launching pad for independent movies and documentaries.

Also on Thursday was the premiere of "Justice," a surprise late addition to the festival line-up, which explores the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The first documentary from "The Bourne Identity" director Doug Liman, it features testimony from Deborah Ramirez, one of Kavanaugh's accusers and a former Yale classmate.

It also includes audio of another classmate, who said he saw Kavanaugh expose himself to a different, "extremely drunk" woman student at another party, but whose account was only reported in US media months after Kavanaugh's polarizing 2018 Senate confirmation hearing.

The woman, who is not named, has said she does not remember the incident.

"This was the kind of movie where people are terrified" to speak out, Liman said.

Kavanaugh has categorically denied engaging in sexual misconduct.

The 2023 Sundance Film Festival is the first to be held in-person for three years, as recent editions were forced online by Covid. It runs until January 29.

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