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The businesswoman and TV personality. 80, shared the story while appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday (20 January).
Stewart dated Hopkins after divorcing her husband, Andrew Stewart, in 1990.
However, she broke up with the actor after seeing his Oscar-winning role in The Silence of the Lambs, Jonathan Demme’s 1991 horror thriller in which Hopkins plays convicted cannibal Dr Hannibal Lecter.
Stewart said that she found the performance so scary that she “couldn’t even imagine taking” the actor to her “big, scary house in Maine”.
“All I could think of was him eating, you know…” she said in reference to Lecter.
When DeGeneres asked Stewart if she “stopped because of that”, she replied: “Yeah.”
Hopkins returned to the play Lecter in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal (2002) and prequel Red Dragon (2003), which was directed by Brett Ratner.
The actor, who won a second Oscar for The Father in 2021, has been married three times.
He last married in 2003, tying the knot with his wife Stella Arroyave.