Basic Instinct has become a classic in the years since its 1992 release, but Sharon Stone felt the effects of the controversial film long after it hit theaters. In a new interview on the Table for Two podcast (via Variety), the actor even said the film influenced a judge to give primary custody of her son to her ex-husband following their divorce, “literally” breaking her heart.
Stone and her ex-husband, Phil Bronstein, adopted a child in 2000 before splitting in 2003. When the divorce was finalized the next year, a judge ruled that the couple’s son would live primarily with Bronstein and granted Stone visitation rights. “When the judge asked my child, my tiny little boy, ‘Do you know your mother makes sex movies?’” Stone recalled. “This kind of abuse by the system, that I was considered what kind of parent I was because I made that movie.”
“People are walking around with no clothes on at all in regular TV now,” Stone continued. “And you saw maybe, maybe, like a 16th of a second of nudity of me. And I lost custody of my child.” When asked how she survived the experience, Stone revealed that she ended up in the Mayo Clinic “with extra heartbeats in my upper and lower chamber of my heart.”
“When you say break your heart, it broke my heart,” Stone said. “It literally broke my heart.”
Basic Instinct received pushback when it came out due to its depictions of LGBTQ+ characters, but it was most infamous for a shot of Stone crossing her legs without underwear on, thus showing her vulva. The actor has maintained that the shot was filmed without her permission, writing in her memoir that she wasn’t aware you could see anything until she attended a screening of the film with lawyers and agents.
“That was how I saw my vagina — shot for the first time, long after I’d been told, ‘We can’t see anything — I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on,’” Stone wrote. “Now, here is the issue. It didn’t matter anymore. It was me and my parts up there. I had decisions to make.”
Stone also addressed being laughed at by her peers at the Golden Globes when her name was announced among the nominees for Best Actress. “It was horrible. I was so humiliated,” she said. “Does anyone have any idea how hard it was to play that part? How gut-wrenching? How frightening? To try and carry this complex movie that was breaking all boundaries and everyone was protesting against, and the pressure. I auditioned for it for 9 months. They offered it to 13 other people and now you’re laughing at me. I just wanted to crawl into a hole.”
Listen to Stone’s full Table for Two interview here.