Brooke Shields Called Her 1981 Barbara Walters Interview "Practically Criminal"

Shields reflected on the backlash she received following her controversial Calvin Klein jeans campaign.

Brooke Shields is calling out an interview she did as a teenager with Barbara Walters in 1981, following her infamous Calvin Klein ad campaign.

During an interview on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast, Shields reflected on her 1980 CK jeans campaign and the way she was over-sexualized in the media.

In the ads, Shields, 15 at the time, modeled the jeans while saying the line, "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing."

Following the ads, Shields did an interview with Walters, during which she was asked questions about her measurements and her sexual history.

Looking back, Shields said, "It's practically criminal. It's not journalism."

Brooke Shields Discusses Barbara Walters Interview
Getty Images/InStyle

During the 1981 interview with Walters, Shields's mother sat with her as Walters asked about Shields's measurements, and asked Shields to stand up next to her.

"I think when people see you they don't realize how tall and slim you are," Walters said. "We haven't really seen you standing next to someone."

Walters also asked Shields and her mother about the 15-year-old's childhood being taken away due to the ads, prompting Shields to respond, "But I'm still going through my childhood, so I can't say that I didn't."

Speaking to Vogue in October, Shields recalled the backlash she received following the ads, calling the criticism "ridiculous."

"I was away when they all came out, and then started hearing, 'Oh, the commercials have been banned here, and Canada won't play them,'" she said at the time. "And paparazzi and people screaming at me and screaming at my mother, 'How could you?' It just struck me as so ridiculous, the whole thing."

She added, "They take the one commercial, which is a rhetorical question. I was naive, I didn't think anything of it. I didn't think it had to do with underwear, I didn't think it was sexual in nature," she explained. "I would say it about my sister, 'Nobody can come between me and my sister.'"

Related Articles