The 57-year-old former model reflected on what she calls her past “mistake” during a recent interview with Ali Wentworth on her podcast, “Now What?”
“I think it was, in hindsight, a bit of a mistake for me to be so open about my virginity because it never left me alone,” Shields admitted. She had made the revelation in the 1985 book, “On Your Own.”
She went on to say the book’s publisher wasn’t looking for details that she included. “I wrote a very in-depth first chapter, and they didn’t want it that way,” the “Pretty Baby” actress said. “They wanted a simple, stupid book like ‘I like leg warmers.’”
Shields said the chapter about sex was not “about abstinence per se but about owning your choice.”
“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,’” she told Wentworth.
The “Endless Love” actress said the media went wild over that one excerpt, turning her into the “most famous virgin in the world,” which was “very creepy,” especially when she was allegedly asked about her virginity by “strange older men” during interviews.
“But there was something, to be in the line of fire at such a young age in that way, I gained a resilience,” Shields said of finding the silver lining in the situation. “It did sort of set me up to be ready kinda for anything in this industry, which can be difficult.”
In her 2014 memoir, the actress discussed how her mother was “unjustly judgmental” of her relationship with actor Dean Cain, the person she first had sex with, and that “she feared it on a deeper level.”
“I don’t know if she would ever admit to it, but this threat went beyond Catholicism,” Shields said. “I believe she wanted me to stay hers alone. She believed in an absolute hold she had on me. … And growing up and having sex would mean that I was leaving her.”