Actress Brooke Shields Reflects On Her 1980 Barbara Walters Interview Saying That ‘It’s Practically Criminal’

“Want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”

That is the tagline that we will always remember when talking about Brooke Shields and Calvin Klein. She is one of the most beautiful actresses and models of her time.

Back in the 80s, the then up-and-coming young model was the star of a Calvin Klein ad that caused so much controversy for being sexually suggestive.

You see, Brooke was only 15 when she starred in this ad and said this infamous tagline. The uproar was so strong to the point that the commercial was banned in some countries. She was young and at the time, didn’t realize that her line in the commercial is sexually suggestive.

This led to confusing and traumatic experiences for her in some interviews, like the one she did with journalist Barbara Walters. And now, Brooke is finally talking about this interview saying that it was ‘practically criminal.’

During her guest appearance on the Armchair Expert podcast, Brooke discussed how young actresses and models are oversexualized by the media. She pointed to her own experience while modeling for the Calvin Klein brand.

And when she was featured on various interviews in the aftermath of the scandal, including one with Barbara Walters, she was not prepared for what was about to hit her. She’s now regarding that interview as “maddening.”

“It’s practically criminal. It’s not journalism,” she said.

Brooke recalls that during the interview, Barbara asked her a couple of inappropriate questions. Brooke said that she was asked about what her measurements were and later, also asked if she had any secrets she kept from her mother. She was only 15.

Brooke also spoke out about the backlash that she received against the campaign in a Vogue interview in October 2021.

She said, “I was away when they came out, and then I started hearing that the commercials were being banned. The paparazzi would scream at me and my mother, ‘How could you!’ It just struck me as so ridiculous.”

According to Brooke, she never saw the line as double entendre or anything remotely sexual. She said, “I didn’t think it was about underwear or sexual in nature. I was naive. I think the assumption was that I was much more savvy than I ever really was. I was a virgin, and I was a virgin forever after that.”

Even though that Calvin Klein commercial was banned and she and her mother were shamed for it, that didn’t stop the campaign from becoming iconic.

Brooke said, “The controversy backfired. The campaign was extremely successful, and then the underwear overtook the jeans. [Calvin Klein] understood how to push the envelope. It set the tone for decades.”

The brand Calvin Klein has become both famous and infamous over the years. And when you are familiar with their ad campaigns, then you can understand why. You see, the brand has never been afraid of what critics might say.

It is not a secret that it is constantly teetering on the line between sexy and inappropriate.

Calvin Klein is no stranger to controversy, and Brooke Shields knows all about that. And now, that ad campaign is part of what makes them so known and so interesting. And after decades of criticism and judgment, the brand will never be afraid to push the envelope.


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