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Sharon Stone at the Red Sea International Film Festival 2022: ‘Fame destroyed my life’

Sharon Stone at the Red Sea International Film Festival 2022: 'Fame destroyed my life'

During the second edition of the Jeddah-based festival, the diva opens her heart about the dark side of celebrity, women's rights and her relationship with the afterlife.

The moment Sharon Stone realised that her life would change forever was after the premiere of Basic Instinct, the Paul Verhoeven film that would from then on mark her career for better or worse. "That film turned me into a star. Once I came out of that screening I was a different person: from then on I had to have a bodyguard and be careful not to be recognised for fear of being surrounded by people. That was my baptism with fame: quick and intense,'" Sharon Stone recounted in an interview during a private meeting at the Red Sea International Film Festival, the film festival based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, organised by Jomana Alrashid and Mohammed Al Turki and now in its second year. "For about a month, people surrounded me everywhere I went, even stopped in my car at traffic lights," Sharon Stone continued, explaining that in the early years of the boom, she developed a principle of agoraphobia that she learned to deal with over time.

"Nobody is ready to be famous, nobody understands what it feels like when the crowd shouts your name," said the actress, explaining that, in the beginning, making her way in an industry like Hollywood, where men have always been paid more than women, was one of the most difficult and painful things in her life. 

The risk of becoming famous thanks to a character and as fascinating as the psychologist Catherine Tramell, the absolute star of Basic Instinct, was that, from that moment on, many saw Sharon Stone as the extension of the woman she lent her face to on the screen: 'For many people I had to be like my character: I had to be vulgar, I had to kill people and show my vagina at the supermarket. It was a big trauma in my life. At one point I lost custody of my child because the judge was convinced I was making erotic films," Stone recounted. "Fame destroyed my personal life and my rights, it destroyed the way people thought of me as a human being," she reiterated, recalling one incident in particular. "When I was nominated for a Golden Globe and they said my name, the people in the room laughed at me. The same people who, 20 years later, would applaud me for my fight for women's rights,' stressed Sharon Stone, currently spokesperson for amfAR, the foundation for AIDS research. A role for which, Stone said, she had not worked for more than eight years.

"It was a miracle. I feel the spirits, especially when I paint, an activity I rediscovered during Covid. For some people to see me talking to myself may mean that I am crazy, but it is something I feel inside me and it is good for my heart".

Another moment of deep emotion was when Stone recalled the tragic death of his nephew River, which occurred six days before his first birthday. "I suggested donating his organs because, that way, he would live on. This saved my family. We gave away his kidneys, his heart, his lungs and, because of that, four people got to live," Stone said, reflecting one last time on the sensitive subject of celebrity and how it has changed over the decades. "In the last 10 years, partly because of technology, celebrity is not what it used to be. I like to keep a certain mystery because I believe that movie stars are special, wonderful and ambitious,' Sharon Stone said before recalling the time Frank Sinatra cooked for her at her home and before emphasising that she loves good directors, good scripts and good actors like Kate Winslet because working with them helps her not only to be a better actress, but also a better person. Finally, a closing loaded – again – with emotion and emotion: 'I was born in Pennsylvania and grew up with the Amish coming into my driveway with their horses. There was no way I was coming to Saudi Arabia and meeting you. So thank you, really'. Because divas are born, not made.

Written by Michael Zippo

Michael Zippo, passionate Webmaster and Publisher, stands out for his versatility in online dissemination. Through his blog, he explores topics ranging from celebrity net worth to business dynamics, the economy, and developments in IT and programming. His professional presence on LinkedIn - - is a reflection of his dedication to the industry, while managing platforms such as EmergeSocial.NET and highlights his expertise in creating informative and timely content. Involved in significant projects such as, Michael offers a unique experience in the digital world, inviting the public to explore the many facets online with him.


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