Sharon Stone Claims ‘Basic Instinct’ Role Cost Her Custody Of Son

Basic Instinct
Sharon Stone Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for The Red Sea International Film Festival

Sharon Stone claimed that she lost custody of her child in 2004 because of assumptions created by her brief nudity in the film Basic Instinct.

Stone made the claims Tuesday in a Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi podcast interview. Stone played Catherine Tramell in the film, a serial killer and love interest to Michael Douglas. She memorably flashes her interviewers in one scene, creating a sensation for a view that was rare in mainstream cinema.

“I lost custody of my child,” she said. “When the judge asked my child — my tiny little tiny boy — ‘Do you know your mother makes sex movies?,’ like, this kind of abuse by the system, this kind of abuse, that I was considered what kind of parent I was because I made that movie.”

Stone and her husband Phil Bronstein adopted a son in 2000. Newspaper editor Bronstein filed for divorce in 2003 and received custody of their child.

“I ended up in the Mayo Clinic with extra heartbeats in my upper and lower chamber of my heart,” she said. “It broke my heart.”

The flashing scene in Basic Instinct is tame compared to today’s fare, Stone said.

“People are walking around with no clothes on at all on regular TV now. And you saw maybe like a sixteenth of a second of possible nudity of me,” she said.

People in the entertainment industry also looked down on her for being involved in films that pushed the envelope, Stone claimed.

“I got nominated for a Golden Globe for that part, and when I went to the Golden Globes and they called my name, a bunch of people in the room laughed,” she said. “I was so humiliated. And I was like, does anybody have any idea how hard it was to play that part? And kind of try to carry this complex movie that was really breaking all boundaries?”

As a result of the fallout, Stone said she avoids playing characters who have dark personalities.

“It is brutal to play these characters,” she said. “And this is why I don’t play them anymore.”

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