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How ‘Basic Instinct’ Cost Sharon Stone Custody of Her Son

Photo Credit: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic / Getty Images

During an interview on the Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi podcast, actress Sharon Stone revealed how her appearance in Basic Instinct affected her life, including losing custody of her son. This isn’t the first time Stone has opened up about the difficulties of the film, nor is it the first time she’s discussed the tumultuous custody battle that occurred during the 2000s. However, it has had lasting effects on her as a mom.

She played the killer in Basic Instinct

Headshot of Sharon Stone wearing a white sleeveless turtleneck.
Sharone Stone played Catherine Trambell in the 1992 thriller Basic Instinct. (Photo Credit: Sony Pictures / Carolco Pictures / TriStar Pictures / madColl / MovieStillsDB)

In the 1992 film, Basic Instinct, Stone plays the calculating antagonist Catherine Tramell, alongside co-star Michael Douglas who plays homicide Detective Nick Curran. In the film, Curran falls in love with Tramell as he investigates the death of her ex-boyfriend. Stone previously said, “Now people walk around showing [everything] on Netflix, but, in the olden days, what we were doing was very new. This was a feature film for a major studio, and we had nudity, sex, homosexuality, all these things that, in my era, were breaking norms.”

She’s previously explained how working on the set took its toll on everybody. “[Paul] Verhoeven [director] ended up in the hospital — his sinus thing ruptured, and he couldn’t stop having a nosebleed,” she said. “There was tremendous pressure on that set.” Unfortunately for Stone, says it took a tremendous toll on her life, impacting the decision of a bitter custody battle she and her ex-husband Phil Bronstein entered shortly after their separation in 2004.

The judge asked her son about his mommy’s ‘sex movies’

Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas filming a scene
The judge had asked Stone’s son if he knew about his mother’s intimate scenes in the film. (Photo Credit: Sony Pictures / Carolco Pictures / TriStar Pictures / Zayne / MovieStillsDB)

During a court hearing, the judge asked her eight-year-old son Roan a very inappropriate question. “When the judge asked my child – my tiny little boy, ‘Do you know your mother makes sex movies?'” Stone continued, “This kind of abuse by the system, that it was considered what kind of parent I was because I made that movie.”

In the end, Stone lost custody of her child. Bronstein was awarded primary custody in 2008, with Stone getting visits from Roan every month. Although there were certainly more factors at play in the judge’s decision, Stone believes her role in Basic Instinct impacted the final verdict. “People are walking around with no clothes on at all on regular TV now and you saw maybe like a sixteenth of a second of possible nudity of me – and I lost custody of my child,” she explained.

Stone says it literally broke her heart

Headshot of Sharon Stone and her son, Roan.
Actress Sharon Stone and her son Roan Joseph Bronstein arrive on July 16, 2021, to attend the amfAR 27th Annual Cinema Against AIDS gala at the Villa Eilenroc in Cap d’Antibes, southern France, on the sidelines of the 74th Cannes Film Festival. (Photo Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP / Getty Images)

The results of the custody battle devastated Stone, causing her to suffer physical effects as well as emotional ones. She explained how losing custody of her child has broken her heart, literally. “I ended up in the Mayo Clinic with extra heartbeats in the upper and lower chambers of my heart,” she said. “It broke my heart.”

More from us: Danny DeVito Admitted He Didn’t Actually Save Michael Douglas From a Venomous Snake

During the custody battle, Stone went on to adopt two more children, Laird in 2005, and Quinn in 2006. In her 2021 memoir The Beauty of Living Twice, she explained how she had fought a “game of custody chess” for 13 difficult years and now feels that her family and her home are finally complete.

Samantha Franco

Samantha Franco is a Freelance Content Writer who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Guelph, and her Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Western Ontario. Her research focused on Victorian, medical, and epidemiological history with a focus on childhood diseases. Stepping away from her academic career, Samantha previously worked as a Heritage Researcher and now writes content for multiple sites covering an array of historical topics.

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging out with her dog, Chowder!