Former model and actress Brooke Shields is releasing an upcoming memoir called "There was a Little Girl" which will detail her rise to fame as well as her troubled childhood before she was launched into stardom in the 70s and 80s. Shields opens up in the book about a painful past dominated by her alcoholic mother, Teri Shields who recently passed away at the age of 79.
Although Teri was her manager throughout her young modeling career, the mother and daughter had a complicated relationship overshadowed by alcohol dependency and at times neglect. Brooke has come to terms with the difficult childhood she experienced and also recalls happy times with her mother who protected her and worked with her throughout her career.
Early Fame and Modeling
Brooke Shields modeling career began early as she was put in front of the camera for an Ivory Soap at only 11 months old. Her mother assumed the role of her manager as Brooke went on to model for big name brands as a child including Band-Aids and Colgate.
Her unconventional childhood turned to fame when she shot a provocative ad for Calvin Klein jeans in her teenage years. She went on to star in the films "Pretty Baby" and "the Blue Lagoon" both of which featured nude scenes of the still underage Shields.
Although the films were controversial her mother had helped her to choose which roles she took and consented to her daughter filming the nude scenes, a decision many people criticized. Teri also defended the young girl's looks and prevented modeling agents from changing her hair or eyebrows. She even stopped a plane once to retrieve a doll Brooke left at the airport.
Growing up with an Addict
In spite of some happy anecdotes and their close relationship, many times Brooke felt abandoned by her mother as a child due to her heavy drinking. Brooke spent a lot of time in bars with her mother who was dependent on alcohol for most of her life.
Many times throughout her childhood her mother left her alone with a male neighbor so that she could go out drinking. Brooke tried to stage interventions to stop her mother's behavior by the time she was only 13 years old.
Eventually due to her excessive drinking and addiction, Shields terminated her mother as manager to regain control of her career. She says any other alcoholic manager would have been fired in five minutes but their closeness prevented her from moving on for years.
Brooke ultimately had to leave the difficult relationship behind and start making decisions for herself.
Teri Shields unfortunately continued drinking late in her life and developed dementia, an illness that can sometimes occur as a result of alcoholism. After a long battle with the illness, Teri finally passed away in 2012.
It was only now after losing her mother that Brooke could finally come to terms with the past and write her memoir as a form of therapy. She says that she never fully understood her mother and lamented that she was never truly sober as she was growing up.
Teri was at times cruel and emotionally abusive, calling Brooke "fat" as a teenager and looming over her romantic relationships. Brooke Shields memoir is honest and uncensored, detailing all the good and bad aspects of her childhood while growing up as a young model with her alcoholic mother and manager.
After severing professional ties their relationship remained close and Brooke asserts there was plenty of love between them throughout her life. She writes about the positive memories and the connection they had in spite of her mother's disease.