Brooke Shields: I Was “Taken Advantage Of” By Barbara Walters

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Barbara Walters is a living legend in the world of journalism, but while she has had many very successful interviews during her career, sometimes, the people she was interviewing felt uncomfortable with the questions she asked. For better or worse, Walter often didn’t back down.

On an episode of “The Drew Barrymore Show” that aired today, Brooke Shields talked about her experience with interviews when she was a young girl and teenager. One of the uncomfortable interviews that she mentioned was with Walters.

Shields first talked about an interview she did when she was about 10 years old. She recently watched the interview, and she was impressed with how well she handled it at such a young age. She told Barrymore that a woman was interviewing her, but in this case it was not Walters. The unnamed woman “asked the same question repeatedly.” Eventually, Shields told the interviewer, “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.” Again, she was only 10 at the time of that interview.

Then, Barrymore and Shields both spoke about their own uncomfortable interviews with Walters. In Barrymore’s case, she said Walter told her, “Talk to me about the drugs and alcohol, talk to me about your mother, talk to me about bisexuality, talk to me about everything.” It made her feel uncomfortable, and she didn’t answer the questions. Instead, she told Walters, “You know, Barbara, I’m really doing well.”

As far as Shields’ uncomfortable interview with Walters, that took place in 1981 when Shields was just 15 years old. It was shortly after her famous Calvin Klein ad. Shields explained that during the interview 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.”

Both Shields and Barrymore were clear that they “admire” Walters. Barrymore said, “I never thought of Barbara Walters in a negative light, nor do I,” but that doesn’t change the fact that they felt pretty uncomfortable with Walters’ prying questions when they were younger. Barrymore said that she believes Walters was trying to get a “negative soundbite.”

Watch the video below to see the part of Shields’ 1981 interview that made her feel “taken advantage of.”