Sharon Stone recalls backlash she faced for activism work: 'My life was threatened'
Sharon Stone has never shied away from standing her ground when it comes to the causes she cares about, often voicing her opinions and sharing her activism on social media.
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However, it once nearly not only threatened her career, but also her life, when fans and even her industry colleagues weren't receptive to her stance.
It was specifically her efforts in 1995 to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS research that sparked backlash, and led her to an eight-year hiatus from acting.
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Speaking at The Red Sea Film Festival in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, Sharon recalled the time when she took over then-amfAR chairwoman Elizabeth Taylor at the organization's annual Cannes fundraising gala in 1995.
According to Deadline, the actress teared up when recalling the backlash she faced, admitting she didn't work for eight years because of it.
"I had pretty big shoes to fill with Elizabeth Talyor at amfAR," however, even her own publicist at the time warned her of the unfair consequences she might face, and she said she told her: "If you do this, it will destroy your career."
The star hosted a conversational event during the festival
She further explained: "At the time you weren't allowed to talk about AIDS. She got hives on her neck. I said, 'I know, but I am going to do it, you're gonna kill me.' She replied, 'And if you don't, I am gonna kill you.'"
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Speaking of her time as chairwoman, she said: "[I] had no idea of the resistance, cruelty, hate and oppression that we would face."
Sharon returned to the amfAR Gala for the first time since 2014 in 2021
She shockingly confessed: "It did destroy my career. I didn't work for eight years. I was told if I said condom again, funding would be removed. I was threatened repeatedly, my life was threatened, and I decided I had to stick with it."
She persisted, meeting with research institutes and advertising AIDS remedies, and now she says: "Now 37 million are living with HIV/AIDS, living, functioning, and healthy."
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