The 57-year-old actor recalled how she’s publicly talked about her virginity over the years in Tuesday’s episode of her podcast Now What? With Brooke Shields. During the conversation, she shared her regrets about her 1985 book, On Your Own, which included details about her being a virgin at the age of 20.
“I mean, I think that it was, in hindsight, a bit of a mistake for me to be so open about my virginity because it never left me alone,” she said.
The model then said that she didn’t even write about her virginity herself, since her publicist rejected the chapter that she’d initially written.
“I ended up not penning it myself, and that was a huge mistake because the publisher didn’t want what I wrote. I wrote a very in-depth first chapter, and they didn’t want it that way,” she continued.
After noting that her book was supposed to be about leaving home for the first time and “going to college,” she said it ultimately made headlines for its section on her virginity.
“In it, there was one part of a chapter where I discuss, not abstinence per se, but owning your choice,” she continued.
She described what encouraged her to write about the topic, adding: “I would get a lot of fan mail from kids saying, ‘Oh, my boyfriend’s pressuring me, and I don’t want to have sex. What do I do?’ My narrative was, ‘You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.”
Despite what her book was about, The Blue Lagoon star said that the media opted to focus on this one chapter which resulted in her being labelled as “the most famous virgin in the world”.
Shields then said that while she had to do some “creepy” talk show interviews with men about her virginity, it ultimately helped her prepare for her career.
“To be in the line of fire at such a young age in that way, I gained a resilience, and it set me up to be ready for anything in this industry, which can be difficult,” she added.
Elsewhere in the episode, she said she regrets not losing her virginity to someone that she had previously dated.
“Waiting, I have regret around that,” she said. “Because there was a sense of joy and freedom that I should have been able to feel within a relationship that was so lovely, and so beautiful, and sweet.”
This wasn’t Shields’ first time talking about the topic. During a 2020 interview with People, she recalled how she lost her virginity to actor Dean Cain at the age of 22 when they were attending Princeton University together. She wrote about Cain in her memoir, The Brooke Book, and told the publication why she’s been so open to talking about their relationship.
“I had no problem talking about it because I talked about it with my friends,” she said. “My mother thought it was important for me to then represent that to kids. I was just honest, and like, ‘By the way, I also didn’t smoke and I had braces.’ These things were not off limits with regard to the public and their knowledge of me so I thought, ‘Okay, that’ll be a good chapter.’”