Brooke Shields reveals how she dealt with mum's alcohol abuse: 'It was my safety net'

Brooke Shields attends 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar After Party Arrivals at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California
Brooke Shields has opened up about the impact of her mother's alcohol abuse. (Getty Images)

Brooke Shields has revealed how acting helped her cope as a teenager while her mother battled alcoholism.

The actress, now 57, described her Hollywood career as an escape as her mum Teri's behaviour became increasingly erratic and emotionally abusive.

Speaking to The Sunday Times magazine, the star said: "Making movies was always my safety net."

In her 2014 memoir There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me she revealed that her mother had struggled with her drinking all her life but had refused to give up alcohol.

Brooke Shields and her mother (and manager) Teri Shields (1933 - 2012) walk together, New York, New York, 1978
The actress (pictured age 13 with her Teri in 1978) noted how she had to "contend with so much at such an early age". (Getty Images)

It included a letter written by a 10-year-old Brooke, which read: "Mommy, I beg of you please stay without drinking."

The star recalled to the Times: "I had to contend with so much at such an early age, and there was resilience, but also I put on blinders as a defence mechanism.

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"But now I can look at that little girl and think, ‘She did it, she pulled through.’"

Her mother, who passed away in 2012, was Brooke's manager as she soared to fame from the age of 11.

Brooke Shields and her mom, Teri Shields circa 1982 in New York City
Her mother died in 2012 (pictured together in 1982). (Getty Images)

Teri has been criticised for allowing her young daughter to play a child prostitute in her breakthrough role in the 1978 film Pretty Baby, and also appear nude aged 15 in the 1980 film The Blue Lagoon.

Brooke, now a mother of two teen daughters, acknowledged that while she should have "absolutely" been protected by her parent as a child, she doesn't feel anger.

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The star explained: "Everyone always wanted me to be angry with her, but anger was just too sad for me to take when I looked at how insecure she was."

She has recently made the documentary Pretty Baby, in which she revealed for the first time that she was raped in her early 20s shortly after graduating from university.

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