"I saw my vagina-shot for the first time." The unsettling story behind that Basic Instinct scene.

It was the unforgettable scene that made Sharon Stone a star.

Starring as femme fatale character Catherine Tramell, Stone, then 34, sat opposite a group of investigators in a white mini dress. 

Smoking a cigarette as she was interrogated about the brutal murder of a rock star, Stone's character looked completely in control as she crossed and uncrossed her legs, tormenting the group of police officers.

But behind the scenes, it was a very different story.

Watch: Sharon Stone spoke about the infamous scene at the Berlin GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2019. Post continues below.

Video via GQ.

In an excerpt from her upcoming memoir The Beauty of Living Twicewhich was published in Vanity FairStone has opened up about her time on Basic Instinctsharing that she was told no one would be able to see anything in her infamous "crotch shot" scene.

"After we shot Basic Instinct, I got called in to see it," the 63-year-old recalled.

"Not on my own with the director, as one would anticipate, given the situation that has given us all pause, so to speak, but with a room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom had nothing to do with the project. 

"That was how I saw my vagina-shot for the first time, long after I’d been told, 'We can’t see anything — I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on.'"


The film's director, Paul Verhoeven, has previously denied that he exploited Stone in the scene.

"Sharon is lying," he told ICON in 2017. 

"Any actress knows what she’s going to see if you ask her to take off her underwear and point there with the camera."

In her memoir, Stone rebutted Verhoeven's claims, writing: "Yes, there have been many points of view on this topic, but since I’m the one with the vagina in question, let me say: The other points of view are bulls**t."

Sharon Stone attends the Cannes Film Festival for the presentation of the film Basic Instinct. Image: Getty.

After seeing the interrogation scene for the first time, Stone called her lawyer.

"It was me and my parts up there. I had decisions to make. I went to the projection booth, slapped Paul across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer," she wrote.

Although Singer reportedly told the actor she could request to have the scene removed, she ultimately decided to allow the scene to remain in the film.


The 63-year-old has previously shared how she was asked to take off her underwear while filming the infamous interrogation scene.

"Some years ago I was sitting on a sound stage, and my director said, 'Can you hand me your underpants because we're seeing them in the scene and you shouldn't have underpants on, but we won't see anything," she said at the Berlin GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2019

"I said, 'Sure.' I didn't know this moment would change my life."

The extract from Stone's memoir, which was published on Thursday, included a range of the actor's experiences in Hollywood.

In one example, the Basic Instinct star shared that director Paul Verhoeven incorrectly and continually called her 'Karen' during the film's production.

Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. Image: Getty.

In another example, Stone shared how a producer advised her to sleep with a co-star to ensure better on-screen chemistry.

Stone recalled thinking: "You guys insisted on this actor when he couldn’t get one whole scene out in the test. Now you think if I f**k him, he will become a fine actor? Nobody’s that good in bed."

"I felt they could have just hired a co-star with talent, someone who could deliver a scene and remember his lines. I also felt they could f**k him themselves and leave me out of it. It was my job to act, and I said so," she continued.

"This was not a popular response. I was considered difficult."

She also shared her experience with one director, who she referred to as a "#MeToo candidate", who refused to shoot her scenes because Stone refused to "sit in his lap and take direction". 


After Basic Instinct, which premiered in 1992, Stone appeared in films including Sliver, Casino, and The Quick and the Dead.

She later took a hiatus from acting in 2001 after experiencing a stroke and a nine-day brain haemorrhage.

Sharon Stone in 2020. Image: Getty.

"When I came home after the stroke, I could barely walk. My hip was unstable. I couldn’t see out of my left eye and I couldn’t hear out of my left ear," she later told the Radio Times, according to Metro.

"I couldn’t write my name for almost three years. I couldn’t get my arm to listen to my mind, so I had to learn to read and write again," she added.

"I also had to learn to speak again. It took years for the feeling to come back to my left leg, but it finally came back."

Speaking to Variety in 2019, Stone shared people treated her "in a way that was brutally unkind" after her stroke.

"I had to re-mortgage my house. I lost everything I had. I lost my place in the business. I was like the hottest movie star, you know?" she said.

"It was like Miss Princess Diana and I were so famous — and she died and I had a stroke. And we were forgotten."

Following her health scare, Stone has appeared in films including Catwoman, Basic Instinct 2, Lovelace, and The Disaster Artist, and TV shows The New Pope and Ratched. 

Sharon Stone's memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, is out on March 30. You can read the full excerpt on Vanity Fair.

Feature Image: YouTube.