Brooke Shields’ mom, Teri Shields, died last week following a long illness related to dementia, according to the New York Times. She was 79.
Teri’s managing of Brooke’s career made her a controversial “momager” long before Kris Kardashian made the term commonplace. Teri began promoting her daughter as a child model and actress as a baby. At 11 months, Brooke was paid $25 to pose for an Ivory Soap ad, a job that launched her career.
Teri hired a photographer to take nude photos of her daughter at age 10. She allowed Brooke to be cast as a child prostitute in the 1978 movie ”Pretty Baby.” Brooke was 12 when the movie came out.
Teri was also behind the Calvin Klein jeans campaign that launched Brooke into the upper echelons of the fashion world at age 15.
A few years after “Pretty Baby” was released, Shields told the TV interviewer Bill Boggs that the people who accused her of exploiting her daughter were jealous. She also praised Brooke’s sex appeal for her success.
“They see total innocence, which is totally there,” she said, as Brooke sat next to her. “And two, they have the sexy child too, they have the sexy person — that appeals to them.”
Brooke also defended the movie, famously saying, “It’s only a role. I’m not going to grow up and be a prostitute.”
Brooke, 47, would not comment on the Times’ obituary. She began managing her own career in her 20s and has spoken about how her relationship with her mom grew strained as she grew older. In a 1994 interview with the Times, Brooke cited her mother’s problem with alcohol.
“I grew up in an alcoholic household,” she said. “I’m the caretaker who wants to make everything better, and you can just do that for so long, or so I’ve been told.”