Sharon Stone Memoir

Actress says she was misled into taking off panties

Sharon Stone in the infamous scene in Basic Instinct (1992) where she crosses and uncrosses her legs while being interrogated as a murder suspect by a roomful of men.
Sharon Stone in the infamous scene in Basic Instinct (1992) where she crosses and uncrosses her legs while being interrogated as a murder suspect by a roomful of men.PHOTO: GV

Sharon Stone has claimed that she was misled into taking off her underwear for her infamous interrogation scene in the movie Basic Instinct (1992).

In an excerpt from her upcoming memoir, The Beauty Of Living Twice, in Vanity Fair magazine, the 63-year-old actress wrote about getting cast in the career-making erotic drama with Michael Douglas and what happened behind the scenes.

She called the experience "terrifying" and said playing the role gave her "hideous nightmares".

"After we shot Basic Instinct, I got called in to see it. Not on my own with the director, as one would anticipate, given the situation that has given us all pause, so to speak, but with a room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom had nothing to do with the project," the Golden Globe winner wrote.

"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,'" she said of the infamous scene in the film where she crosses and uncrosses her legs while being interrogated as a murder suspect by a roomful of men.

She said she went to the projection booth, slapped director Paul Verhoeven across the face and left.

After consulting her lawyer, Stone said she ultimately chose not to seek an injunction over the controversial scene. "Why? Because it was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it," she wrote.

In an interview with Icon magazine in 2017, Verhoeven denied that Stone did not consent to her crotch being filmed.

"Sharon is lying," he said. "Any actress knows what she's going to see if you ask her to take off her underwear and point there with the camera."

He has not commented on this latest allegation in her memoir, which will be out next Tuesday.

Stone, who went on to reprise her role in the 2006 sequel to Basic Instinct with a different director, also wrote about the sexual harassment she faced throughout her career.

In one instance, she was told by a producer to sleep with her male co-star to improve their chemistry on screen. She said she refused to do it and was labelled "difficult".

She added: "I felt they could have just hired a co-star with talent, someone who could deliver a scene and remember his lines."

•The Beauty Of Living Twice (US$24.95 or S$33.50) is available for pre-order at Amazon.com.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2021, with the headline 'Actress says she was misled into taking off panties'. Subscribe