In a provocative profile for Harper’s Bazaar, Sharon Stone poses nude and talks about the brain hemorrhage that derailed her career and changed her physically.
Back in 2001, Stone suffered an aneurysm and then a cerebral hemorrhage that lasted nine days. Worse, she didn’t even realize anything was wrong until three days in, when she went to the hospital and then loss consciousness soon after being admitted. Over the next several days, as doctors struggled to diagnose her condition, things got worse: “I was hemorrhaging so much that my brain had been pushed into the front of my face,” she says.
Stone is candid in describing how the aneurysm permanently altered her:
“It took two years for my body just to absorb all the internal bleeding I had,” she says. “It almost feels like my entire DNA changed. My brain isn’t sitting where it used to, my body type changed, and even my food allergies are different.” It took months for her to regain feeling in her left leg and years for her vision to return to normal; she also fought to eliminate a persistent stutter. On the plus side, “I became more emotionally intelligent. I chose to work very hard to open up other parts of my mind. Now I’m stronger. And I can be abrasively direct. That scares people, but I think that’s not my problem.” She laughs. “It’s like, I have brain damage; you’ll just have to deal with it.”
After the aneurysm, Stone, who rocketed to stardom with 1992’s Basic Instinct and was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for Martin Scorcese’s Casino, saw her career fall apart, with a low point being a 2010 guest stint on Law and Order: SVU:
“That was humiliating,” the actress recalls. “Having worked with the finest people in the industry, I was like, ‘Wow, I’m really at the back of the line here. I’m wearing L’eggs panty hose, and in makeup they start out by putting this white primer on my face.’ I’m like, ‘This is so bad. What did I do to deserve this?’ “
Soon after though, Stone decided to “shut the fuck up and do the job.” She’s now making a comeback of sorts, starring in and executive producing TNT’s Agent X, in which she plays the Vice President of the United States.
The entire profile is chock full of Stone’s trademark bluntness, and is worth a read. The artful nudes are also worth a look, of course.