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Brooke Shields Opens Up About Alleged Michael Jackson Relationship in New Doc

Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Despite what you may have heard—including from the pop star himself—Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields never really dated. In the new documentary about her life, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, the actor opens up about her friendship with Jackson, including how he often misrepresented it to the media. She also explains in the film from director Lana Wilson, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 20, why they connected so strongly and what it had to do with their experience as child stars.

It's not the first time Shields has spoken out about her friendship with Jackson. She read a eulogy at his funeral and has also shared her side of their story in interviews. Read on to find out more about these famous friends.

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Shields said she and Jackson bonded over being "childlike."

Brooke Shields and Michael Jackson at the 1981 Oscars
Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Shields and Jackson first met when she was 13, meaning it would have been around 1978, and Jackson would have been 20 at the time.

Much of what they had in common had to do with the impact of being famous at a young age. Shields says in the documentary that they were both "very childlike" even as they got older, and that they were "both quite juvenile in some ways and mature in others."

She says they were never in a relationship.

Brooke Shields in New York City in 1983
Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In Pretty Baby, Shields says of Jackson, "We hung out," and maintains that they never had a romantic relationship, even though Jackson would claim they were dating a few years after they first met.

The Suddenly Susan star also says that she believes Jackson liked to be seen with her and implies that he would tip off paparazzi as to their whereabouts so that they would be photographed together.

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They drifted apart after he talked about her in an interview.

Michael Jackson in 1979
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson claimed he and Shields were dating. As reported by EW, Shields was surprised to find out about this, because she was in a relationship with actor Dean Cain at the time. This marked a turning point in Shields and Jackson's friendship, and they became less close over time.

Shields believes Jackson suffered from "arrested development."

Brooke Shields at the 2018 Fashion Awards
Cubankite / Shutterstock

In a 2014 interview with People, Shields said Jackson had seemed "terrified" of romantic relationships.

"Of course we loved each other, but nothing happened romantically," she said. "I would be like, 'Oh please, knock it off.' He was like this kid who would ask you [about dating and romance]. Nobody was telling him and nurturing this stuff and I think he was terrified. He was terrified and sort of juvenile. I think there was an arrested development."

She said that their closeness came from going through fame together. "We felt really safe," she said. "Together, we felt impervious to the craziness that swirled around us."

In an interview with Rolling Stone following his death in 2009, Shields said that Jackson expressed interest in adopting a child with her, which she saw as him looking for happiness and trying to "take his resources and make a difference to other people in their lives."

She spoke at his memorial service.

Brooke Shields speaking at Michael Jackson's memorial in 2009
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Despite Jackson's misleading comments about the nature of their relationship, they remained friends. Years later, Shields read a eulogy at Jackson's funeral. As reported by MTV, she joked about their child star pasts.

"I used to tease him and I would say, 'You know, I started when I was 11 months old, you slacker. You were what, five?'" Shields said. "Both of us needed to be adults very early, but when we were together, we were two little kids having fun."

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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