"Baywatch" Star Nicole Eggert Got Breast Implants at 18 for the Show: "A Stupid Decision"
The now 52-year-old actor regrets feeling pressured to change her body.
Unless you actually are a lifeguard (or a professional swimmer), going to work everyday in a swimsuit probably doesn't sound too appealing. Even for the cast of Baywatch, who pretended to be lifeguards for a living, it wasn't always pleasant. Baywatch star Nicole Eggert shared in a new interview that she decided to get breast implants at 18, because she felt that her body wasn't adequate for the show. Now the actor, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, regrets undergoing surgery just for the role.
Speaking to People, Eggert shared that when she joined Baywatch for Season 3 as Summer Quinn, she initially thought she had been cast on a spinoff series about high schoolers. On her first day, she was surprised to find out that she was wrong, and remembered thinking to herself, "Oh my God, we're going to be in a bathing suit all day every day?"
The now 52-year-old continued, "All the girls worked out and were super tiny and fit and I was like 'Whoops.' And the one-piece bathing suits were not flattering. I didn't want to wear it at all." She added, "It just wasn't what I signed up for. It was a totally different show and ballgame and not where I wanted to be."
Because she felt insecure about her body, Eggert decided to get breast implants. "I regret it now, of course," she told People, calling it "a stupid 18-year-old decision." She also shared a message for other young women. "I look at all these younger girls doing it and think, 'God, leave your bodies alone!' But when you have to put on that one-piece and it's like you're so flat that it's like pleating—you got pleats across the front… You're like, 'What is this?' Nothing you can do. You can't stuff it with anything. You can't do anything."
Eggert previously opened up about getting breast implants during a 2015 appearance on Oprah: Where Are They Now? (via HuffPost) and talked about comparing herself to co-star Pamela Anderson. "I saw myself more as… the tomboy athletic one. And when I saw Pam come out of the trailer, she came out like Barbie!" I was like, 'Oh, no. One of us is really on the wrong page.' It was me. I was on the wrong page." She continued, "I was on set at a beach with these girls walking around with these huge boobs and these perfect bodies," she says. "I was like, 'I look like a boy. I look like a man from the top.'"
In that interview, she also addressed a rumor that producers requested that she have the cosmetic surgery. "I did the breast implants on my own," Eggert clarified. "That was all me. They never asked me to do that. A year later, I had them reduced quite significantly."
In 2016, Baywatch producers Michael Berk and Douglas Schwartz said that they believed Eggert got implants because she felt competitive with Anderson. "She had a beautiful athletic body but didn't have big boobs at all. Maybe she was feeling a little bit of pressure," Berk told The Hollywood Reporter. "There was a holiday weekend and for a couple of days she called in sick afterward. Then she showed up back on the set having gotten a boob job."
Speaking to People, Eggert said, "Those guys—they really like to make stuff up. It was on downtime from the show, and they knew [about my surgery]."
The actor explained that her insecurity stemmed from her past, including abuse that she claims she suffered at the hands of a co-star. In 2018, she accused Charles in Charge star Scott Baio of molesting her when they worked together, starting when she was 14 years old. Baio is 11 years her senior and has denied the allegations.
"I think that experience definitely hindered me a bit and my mental health and my self-awareness and how I felt about myself," she told People. "I think it was damaging and made me very insecure and just not comfortable in my own skin. That, on top of being young and being in the public eye and people always watching me, it made me insecure all the time. But I'm happy the truth is out there now. I'm proud of myself."
Eggert left Baywatch after starring on the show for two seasons. Now, she is working on a documentary about the series called Baywatch: The American Dream. She is also beginning treatment for stage 2 breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with last month. The actor told People in an earlier interview that she knew something was wrong when she felt a "throbbing" pain in her left breast, felt a lump, and gained 25 pounds in the course of three months.