Brooke Shields doesn't regret any of her past — but she might rethink publicly disclosing that she was a virgin.
On Tuesday's episode of her iHeart podcast, Now What? With Brooke Shields, the veteran actress and model answered friend Ali Wentworth's question about whether Shields had many any "poor choices" as a young person.
"I mean, I think it was, in hindsight, a bit of a mistake for me to be so open about my virginity because it never left me alone," Shields said.
She said the topic had come up in a 1985 book that, although it was credited to her, was actually written by someone else. On Your Own is a book of guidance for college-age women, released as Shields herself attended Princeton University. The Pretty Baby star said she had written an in-depth first chapter, but the publisher didn't want it.
"They wanted a simple, stupid book," Shields said. "Like, 'I like leg warmers.'"
Shields addressed her sex life, because she wanted to help others.
"In it, there was one part of a chapter, where I discuss — not abstinence per se — but owning your choice," she said. "I would get a lot of fan mail from kids saying, 'Oh, my boyfriend's pressuring me, and I don't want to have sex. What do I do? My narrative was, 'You don't have to do anything you don't want to.'"
She recalled that it being "very creepy" that she then had to go on talk shows and speak to older men about the topic.
"I became the most famous virgin in the world," she said. "To be in the line of fire at such a young age in that way, I gained a resilience and it set me up to be ready for anything in this industry which can be difficult."
Shields also regrets waiting to have sex for the first time when she eventually did just that with her Princeton boyfriend, Dean Cain, at 22.
"I have regret around [waiting], because there was a sense of joy and freedom that I should have been able to feel within a relationship that was so lovely and so beautiful and sweet," Shields said.
In November 2014, Shields noted in an interview with People that she had actually included a chapter about being a virgin in an earlier book credited to her, 1975's The Brooke Book. It was the idea of her late mother/manager, Teri, with whom Shields has long said she had a complicated relationship, largely because of Teri's alcoholism.
Later in Shields's new podcast episode, during a game of Never Have I Ever, Shields was asked if she had ever caught an ex cheating.
"I did not walk in on an ex cheating, but I was dating an actor," Shields recounted. "He said he had to go to L.A., because his house was flooded. And three days later when I called him — we were engaged — and three days later, when I called him, a girl answered the phone. And then the Enquirer called me and said that he had been seen at a restaurant with another actress."
While Shields declined to give the actor's name, she wrote in yet another book, 2014's There Was a Little Girl, that former fiancé Liam Neeson had used the flooded house excuse when he left her while they were celebrating Christmas together.