Brooke Shields Says Liam Neeson Ghosted Her After He Proposed

The two actors had a whirlwind romance in the early '90s.

As the years go on, certain Hollywood couples who were big news at the time are forgotten—especially if both people involved move on to more famous and longer-lasting relationships. Case in point: You may not remember that Brooke Shields and Liam Neeson dated back in the '90s, but they were so serious that he proposed to her—twice. Obviously, the relationship didn't work out, and they never tied the knot. According to Shields, that's because Neeson ghosted her after he proposed the first time, only to return later and suggest again that they get engaged. Read on to find out what both actors have shared about their time as a couple.

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Neeson and Shields dated in the early '90s.

Liam Neeson and Brooke Shields at the premiere of "Under Suspicion" in 1992
Raoul Gatchalian/IMAGES /Getty Images

Shields wrote about dating Neeson in her 2014 book, There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me. When they began seeing each other, she was 27 years old, and he was 40. Per InStyle, she wrote that the actor "wooed [her] with his brogue, his poetry and his [expletive] choice of cheap pinot grigio wine." She explained that she saw a life with Neeson as a way of becoming more mature.

"During those days, I existed on cheese and crackers and wine and the relationship. I was going to grow up and the Irish drinking actor was the perfect solution," she wrote (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). "I thought that this would get me away from my mother and earn me the respect I wanted so desperately. He was a real actor, and if he chose me, then I would be exposed to a higher caliber of the entertainment industry."

Neeson proposed to her after three months.

Brooke Shields and Liam Neeson at an event at the Swedish Consulate in New York City in 1992
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Shields shared that Neeson proposed to her after they dated for three months—"without a ring."

She continued in There Was a Little Girl, "I pretended I was engaged. We spent a Christmas together … Liam had to fly to LA that night to check on a basement flood in his home. I told him to phone me when he arrived." The Taken actor told her that it would be too late, and she replied, "You did ask me to marry you, so you can tell me the plane was safe."

"I never heard from him again," Shields wrote.

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He proposed a second time.

Liam Neeson and Brooke Shields at the premiere of "Under Suspicion" in 1992
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Neeson might have ghosted Shields after his first proposal, but he came back into her life and asked her to marry him a second time.

"He actually proposed again," Shields told People in 2014. "But it just made the book too long and it wasn't about my mother [the focus of this book]. So I'll have to do that in my memoir."

She went on to explain, "He came back after the first time he left me and asked me to marry him again. This was before he started to do a play [Anna Christie]. And I said, 'No, no, no, because knowing you, you'll probably fall in love with your next leading lady and marry her, so I'm leaving myself out of this.' And I was dead right."

Neeson indeed fell in love with his Broadway co-star.

Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson at the 2005 Golden Globes
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Shields' prediction was correct. Neeson's co-star in the 1993 Broadway revival of Anna Christie was Natasha Richardson, who he married in 1994. They remained together until her 2009 death and had two children.

Shields told People that when she ran into Neeson years later, she told him to thank Richardson for visiting her backstage when she played Sally Bowles in Cabaret, since Richardson had played the role previously. "Just tell her I was really honored she came backstage. She's the original and she's amazing," Shields said she told her ex.

As for Shields, she also moved onto longer relationships. She was married to tennis player Andre Agassi from 1997 to 1999 and has been married to filmmaker Chris Henchy since 2001. Shields and Henchy have two children.

Neeson admitted that he left Shields.

Brooke Shields and Liam Neeson at an event at the Swedish Consulate in New York City in 1992
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

As reported by AOL, during a 2015 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Neeson was asked to comment on what Shields shared about their past.

"I'm not going to deny it. I actually don't really remember. It was many years ago…" Neeson said of her account. Host Andy Cohen said, "She talked about you two dating," and the actor said, "Dating, and then I flew off to L.A., and I didn't call her back. It sounds… yeah, I guess it was."

Neeson added that he hadn't been in touch with Shields for a long time but that she is "a great lady and a fantastic girl."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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