Longtime LGBTQ ally and HIV/AIDS activist Brooke Shields is opening up about the time she was interviewed by iconic journalist Barbara Walters when she was still a teenager and how actually deeply f*cked up the whole thing was.
In an appearance on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, Shields talked about shooting a series of Calvin Klein commercials when she was 15 and delivering various one-liners, including, “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”
That line in particular caused an uproar in America, prompting Calvin Klein to send Shields who, again, was just 15 years old, out on the media circuit to try to clean up the mess.
As part of her media blitz, Shields was interviewed by none other than Walters, who asked the teenager several invasive questions about her body measurements and whether she kept any “secrets” (read: sexual activity) from her mother.
When asked about the interview by Shepard, Shields called the whole thing “practically criminal” and “not journalism.” She added that none of the reporters she spoke to during that time, including Walters, “wanted my answer. They just wanted their point of view.”
Shields previously spoke about the Calvin Klein backlash to Vogue in October, saying she was too “naive” to understand the risqué nature of what she was doing at time and that she didn’t understand the double entendre of the campaign’s tagline.
“I didn’t think it had to do with underwear,” she explained. “I didn’t think it was sexual in nature. I’d say that about my sister. Nobody could come between me and my sister.”
Shields isn’t the first person to bring up problematic moments with Walters. In June, singer Ricky Martin recounted the time she tried outing him on camera during a 2000 interview and how it left him feeling “violated.”
“When she dropped the question, I felt violated because I was just not ready to come out,“ he told People. “I was very afraid. You can’t force someone to come out.”
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.