Paul Verhoeven responded in an interview with Variety to Sharon Stone’s claim that she was misled into appearing nude in an infamous scene in the 1992 erotic thriller “Basic Instinct.” Stone writes in her memoir “The Beauty of Living Twice,” published in March, that she didn’t know her genitals were exposed in the movie until a screening filled with agents and lawyers.
“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,’” Stone writes. “Now, here is the issue. It didn’t matter anymore. It was me and my parts up there. I had decisions to make.”
Here’s what Verhoeven had to say about Stone’s claim to Variety: “My memory is radically different from Sharon’s memory. That does not stand in the way and has nothing to do with the wonderful way that she portrayed Catherine Tramell. She is absolutely phenomenal. We still have a pleasant relationship and exchange text messages. But her version is impossible. She knew exactly what we were doing.”
Verhoeven continued, “I told her it was based on a story of a woman that I knew when I was a student who did the crossing of her legs without panties regularly at parties. When my friend told her we could see her vagina, she said, ‘Of course, that’s why I do it.’ Then Sharon and I decided to do a similar sequence.”
Stone writes in her memoir that she confronted Verhoeven about the scene after the screening in the projection booth and slapped him across the face. She also claims to have called her lawyer, Marty Singer. “He told me that they could not release this film as it was,” she writes. “That I could get an injunction. First, at that time, this would give the film an X rating. Remember, this was 1992, not now, when we see erect penises on Netflix. And, Marty said, per the Screen Actors Guild, my union, it wasn’t legal to shoot up my dress in this fashion. Whew, I thought.”
“Well, that was my first thought,” Stone adds. “Then I thought some more. What if I were the director? What if I had gotten that shot? What if I had gotten it on purpose? Or by accident? What if it just existed? That was a lot to think about. I knew what film I was doing. For heaven’s sake, I fought for that part, and all that time, only this director had stood up for me.”