As a journalist, Barbara Walters never held back. She always asked the tough questions that made her interview subjects squirm with unease.
And while there were countless people who were interviewed by Walters during the length of her career, Brooke Shields has recently come forward to explain her interview with Walters and how she was “taken advantage of” by the world-class journalist.
Shields opened up about her experience with Walters during an episode of The Drew Barrymore Show which aired this year.
While speaking with the starlet, Shields explained that she had numerous interviews when she was a young girl and a teenager, including one with Walters that just rubbed her the wrong way.
In one interview from when she was just ten years old, Shields was speaking to an unnamed interviewer – not Walters – who kept asking her the same question again and again.
According to Shields, the woman “asked the same question repeatedly” as though doing so was going to draw a different answer out of the ten-year-old Shields.
However, Shields held her position firm and replied, “I don’t think you wanna know my answer because you keep asking me the same question, and this is my answer but I can’t change it because it’s my truth.”
That’s pretty brave for a ten-year-old girl who has barely had much experience with Hollywood’s ups and downs.
During her interview with Walters, the journalist really wanted to know intimate details about Brooke Shield’s life.
Walters asked Shields, “Talk to me about the drugs and alcohol, talk to me about your mother, talk to me about bisexuality, talk to me about everything.”
The line of questioning made Shields feel very uncomfortable because the questions were digging into personal matters that she’d rather not discuss with the famous journalist.
Shields replied, “You know, Barbara, I’m really doing well.”
So how old was Shields when Walters was asking her these leading questions? She was just a fifteen-year-old girl.
The interview occurred shortly after Shields’ famous Calvin Klein ad. Walters “asked me what my measurements were and asked me to stand up.”
She added, “And I stand up, and she was like comparing herself to this little girl. And I thought, ‘This isn’t right.
I don’t understand what this is.’ But I behaved and smiled and felt like so taken advantage of in so many ways.”
The experience left Shields feeling uneasy and vulnerable. She wanted to speak up but didn’t know how to express her feelings at the time.
Shields has since come forward with her story to empower young women who, like herself, felt taken advantage of by powerful people in their lives. Brooke Shields is a reminder that we should all stand up for ourselves and have our own voice – no matter the age or circumstance.
Given Walters’ long-standing reputation in the industry, it is not surprising that she asked difficult questions during her interviews.
However, Shields’ story proves that we can all draw boundaries and defend ourselves against injustices – even if they are coming from someone as powerful as Barbara Walters.
Bystanders should always remember to stand up for what they believe in and speak out against inequality or injustice – no matter how big or small. We must all rally together to support one another and create a safe space for people of any age to express themselves without fear of judgment or mistreatment.