Sharon Stone Says She Was Tricked Into Taking Off Her Underwear for “Basic Instinct” Scene
Stone says she was lied to about the level of exposure in the scene
The world got a full view of Sharon Stone in a certain iconic leg-crossing scene from Basic Instinct, but nearly 30 years later, the actress says she was unaware viewers would be seeing as much as they did.
In an excerpt from Stone’s forthcoming memoir published by Vanity Fair on Thursday, the actress writes about filming the scene that would go on to become one of the most famous in movie history. According to Stone, she was originally wearing underwear during the scene and was assured her crotch wouldn’t be visible after expressing reluctance to remove the underwear when asked to do so by director Paul Verhoeven.
Stone writes she was 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.”
Of course, as anyone who has seen the famous clip knows, the actress’s crotch is in fact visible, something Stone claims she only realized upon seeing the film for the first time during a preview screening. Shocked, Stone says she “slapped Paul across the face” and proceeded to call her lawyer.
Stone writes that her lawyer, Marty Singer, told her she could move to stop the film from being released through an injunction, though Verhoeven disagreed.
“I let Paul know of the options Marty had laid out for me. Of course, he vehemently denied that I had any choices at all. I was just an actress, just a woman; what choices could I have?” Stone wrote.
Ultimately, however, Stone — with the knowledge that she did, in fact, have choices — writes that she chose to leave the scene in the film: “I thought and thought and I chose to allow this scene in the film. Why? Because it was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it.”
Verhoeven, for his part, has previously denied claims that Stone was unaware of the level of exposure in the scene. “Sharon is lying,” the director told ICON in a 2017 interview. “Any actress knows what she’s going to see if you ask her to take off her underwear and point there with the camera.” He then pulled a predictable card, claiming Stone simply “went crazy” after seeing the scene for the first time surrounded by Americans, who didn’t share his uniquely Dutch approach to nudity.
“I am Dutch, so we act with total normality towards nudity,” Verhoeven said in the interview. “Sharon was carried away by this relaxed attitude. But when she saw the scene surrounded by other [American] people, including her agent and her publicist, she went crazy.”
The facts of the three-decade old dispute may well be lost to years of he-said-she-said drama. But as Stone puts it in her memoir, “There have been many points of view on this topic, but since I’m the one with the vagina in question, let me say: The other points of view are bullshit.”
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