Brooke Shields says Barbara Walters interview she did as a teenager was ‘practically criminal’

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Brooke Shields attends a gala on 18 November 2019 in New York City (ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Brooke Shields attends a gala on 18 November 2019 in New York City (ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Brooke Shields has described an interview she did with Barbara Walters as a teenager as “practically criminal”.

The actor and model discussed the interview on Armchair Expert, the podcast co-hosted by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman.

Shields looked back on an ad campaign she did for Calvin Klein jeans in 1980. A TV spot released as part of the campaign featured Shields, then 15, whistling in a suggestive pose, then looking up at the camera and delivering the line: “Do you know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”

During her conversation with Shepard and Padman, Shields was asked about a TV interview she did with Barbara Walters in 1981, after the campaign was released.

A brief clip from the interview shows Walters asking Shields about her measurements, whether she feels as though she’s had no childhood, and whether she keeps any secrets from her mother (actor and model Teri Shields, who was also present during the interview).

On the podcast, Shepard called Walters’ interview with Shields “maddening”, after which Shields added: “It’s practically criminal. It’s not journalism.”

Shepard later said: “I’m not trying to skewer Barbara Walters. She was also living in 1980, and God knows what the f*** she went through to be Barbara Walters as a journalist at that time.”

The Independent has contacted Walters’s representative for comment.

Shields told Vogue in October that she didn’t think the Calvin Klein ad was “about underwear or sexual in nature” at the time she starred in it. “I was naive,” she said. “I think the assumption was that I was much more savvy than I ever really was. I was a virgin, and I was a virgin forever after that.”

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