When Brooke Shields’ mother was pregnant with her, her father’s father tried to persuade her to have an abortion, Shields reveals in a new book. Her grandfather “discreetly slid her an envelope and asked her to take care of the ‘situation.'”
Shields made these revelations in her second autobiographical work, titled There Was a Little Girl, and released November 18.
When Mom discovered she was pregnant, Shields writes, her father “must have felt a sense of panic–and rightfully so. He wasn’t ready to be a father. He was just starting his life in business and was forced to travel a lot. He had less money than one would think, and he was still a baby himself.”
“Dad really did not know how to handle this,” Shields continues. “He must have told his dad, who took it upon himself to try to persuade my mother to terminate the pregnancy.”
Shields writes that her grandfather called her mother to meet with him to discuss the situation. “He requested that mom terminate the pregnancy, explaining that having a child out of wedlock would risk my father getting kicked off the Social Register.”
“Mom explained that she hadn’t meant to corner my father into marrying her and would not hold him accountable for the child. Personally, I believe my mom really did want to be married to my dad but would never have purposely gotten pregnant to do so,” Shields said.
Brooke’s grandfather explained that since her mother and father “came from such different social backgrounds and social status,” it seemed an inappropriate match. “Basically,” Shields writes, “it just wouldn’t look good for my dad to father a child with somebody from Newark.” So he passed her an envelope with cash in it and asked her to take care of the situation.
Brooke’s mother fully understood what was being asked of her, and she took the envelope and left. According to Brooke, her mother “had no intention of getting an abortion but saw no reason not to take the cash. Instead of going to a doctor, she proceeded immediately to a favorite antique store. There she used the money in the envelope to buy a cherrywood oval coffee table whose four sides folded up with brass brackets to form a sort of connected tray.”
According to Shields, her mother was “defiant as always” and “knew she wanted a baby and that was that.”
“It’s funny,” writes Shields, “that table would become a favorite standing stool for me as I grew up. I remember teething on it and loving to repeatedly fold the sides up and down. The table saved my life and helped me to stand.”
Brooke Shields famously said in an interview with Redbook in 1991: “Too many people use abortion as a form of birth control. And that’s very wrong. I could never, ever have an abortion.”