Despite a life fraught with alcoholism, abandonment and fear, Brooke Shields loved her mother. Here, she shares what she learned from their rocky relationship and why she won’t repeat the same mistakes with her daughters.
By Lisa Thornbury
Like mother, like daughter? Not for Brooke Shields. The infamously young model in Calvin Klein jeans ads, actress and spokesperson is now a 49-year-old wife, mother and most recently author of There Was A Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me, Shields’ memoir of her complicated relationship with her mother, Teri. And, as Shields reveals, her childhood years couldn’t be more different than those of her own two daughters, Rowan, 11, and Grier, 8.
Foundation in love
Though her connection with her mom was sometimes rocky, Shields says they had a strong foundation in love and loyalty. Teri’s struggle with alcoholism escalated over the years, but her faith in her daughter’s talent never waned. With her mother’s guidance, Shields landed roles in films such as Pretty Baby, Blue Lagoon and Endless Love. By the ‘80s, Shields had become a household name, landing the cover of Time magazine who touted her as “The ‘80s Look.”
Her parents divorced early on, and Shields grew up in New York City with her mother, traveling the world, working steadily throughout her childhood and teens. As her mother’s struggle with alcohol became more apparent, Shields recalls feeling abandoned, and her book documents the fear and anger associated with being the child of an alcoholic.