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Sharon Stone Says She Lost Custody of Her Son Because of ‘Basic Instinct’ Role

A judge told her son, “Your mother makes sex movies.”

Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct (1992)

Sharon Stone has reflected on how her career was weaponized against her while fighting for custody of her son Roan following her divorce from ex-husband Phil Bronstein. Speaking on iHeartPodcasts’ Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi, she said, “I lost custody of my child. When the judge asked my child—my tiny little boy, ‘Do you know your mother makes sex movies?’ Like, this kind of abuse by the system—that I was considered what kind of parent I was because I made that movie.”

The former couple adopted Roan, now 22, in 2000, but four years later, when their divorce was finalized, Stone sought primary custody of their son, who was eight at the time. However, a judge denied her request and ruled that Bronstein would provide a more stable environment for the youngster. Stone explained that the decision was due to the controversy over her infamous nude scene in the 1992 erotic thriller Basic Instinct.

On Table for Two, Stone continued, “People are walking around with no clothes on at all on regular TV now, and you saw maybe like a 16th of a second of possible nudity of me—and I lost custody of my child. Are you kidding?”

Unfortunately, while Basic Instinct shot her to global fame, Stone endured endless humiliation, discrimination and sexism. During the same podcast, she recalled that while attending the Golden Globes as the Best Actress nominee for the movie, she was laughed at while her name was called. “I was so humiliated,” Stone 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? The pressure. I auditioned for it for nine months. They offered it to 13 other people, and now you’re laughing at me. I just wanted to crawl into a hole.”

Last year, in her memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, Stone also shared the truth about that scene in Basic Instinct, in which she played murder suspect Catherine Tramell. Her character seduces and manipulates Michael Douglas’s character, with one infamous scene showing her bare vagina as she uncrosses and then recrosses her legs in a white dress. Stone explained that she had no idea the nudity would appear onscreen and saw it for the first time during a screening alongside agents and lawyers.

“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 wrote in the memoir. “Now, here is the issue. It didn’t matter anymore. It was me and my parts up there. I had decisions to make.” Stone said she immediately went to confront director Paul Verhoeven by slapping him across the face.

Unfortunately, her custody battle experience is not a rarity and extends well beyond the realm of acting. In one such case from 2018, sex worker Kymberly Cutter revealed to In These Times that her ex-boyfriend, also the father of her eight-year-old daughter, brought a file of photographs and related material from her adult business to court. “He was trying to make it seem like I was raising [our daughter] in a brothel,” she told the publication. ​“I wasn’t.”

Kymberly also noted that her boyfriend was aware of her sex work when they were together and had no issue with it then, but later used that against her. Luckily, a judge ruled in her favor, although Kymberly notes that if she had a conservative judge ”who wants to punish women”—of which there are plenty—the outcome would likely have been much different. This also gives way to the wider issue of high-conflict divorce, steeped in sexism and vindictive, emotional immaturity, and involves a spouse seeking revenge and distorting the reality in court cases.

As for Stone, she went on to adopt two more children in 2005 and 2006, respectively. She also shares an extremely tight bond with her son Roan, who filed paperwork in 2019 to add “Stone” back to his name.

(featured image: TriStar Pictures)

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