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Sharon Stone Says She Lost Custody of Her Son Over "Basic Instinct" Role

"You saw maybe, like, a sixteenth of a second of possible nudity of me, and I lost custody of my child."

Sharon Stone says that one of her best known roles cost her time with one of her sons. In 1992, she starred in Basic Instinct, an erotic thriller that features nudity, murder, sexual situations, and other adult content. In a new interview, the actor shared that years later, her work in the movie was used against her in court when she and her ex-husband, Phil Bronstein, were sorting out custody of their young son, Roan Bronstein. According to Stone, the judge asked her eight-year-old son about her movies, implying that they made her unfit. Read on to see what else the 64-year-old star revealed about the painful situation.

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Stone welcomed Roan with her ex.

Sharon Stone and Phil Bronstein at the 1998 Oscars
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Stone married Phil in 1998, and they welcomed their son, Roan, in 2000. The couple separated in 2003, and the following year, their divorce was finalized. A few years later, Stone and Phil had to arrange custody of Roan in court, because Stone wanted her son to live with her in Los Angeles and attend school there, while Phil lived in San Francisco, as reported by People.

Stone's lawyers released a statement at the time the reads, "The court order of 2007 provided that Roan was to go to school in San Francisco. [Sharon] wanted the court to modify the order so her child could go to school in Los Angeles. But the court felt that, for whatever reason, that she did not meet a burden to move him out of San Francisco during the school year … She loves her son and felt it would be better to have her child in Los Angeles."

According to People, the couple technically still had joint custody at that point.

Stone says the judge asked her son about her movies.

Roan Bronstein and Sharon Stone at the GQ Men of the Year Award in 2019
Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for GQ Germany

On a new episode of the iHeartRadio podcast Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi, Stone said that when custody was being arranged, Roan was asked about her career, specifically Basic Instinct.

"I lost custody of my child," Stone said. "When the judge asked my child, my tiny little tiny boy, 'Do you know your mother makes sex movies?' This kind of abuse by the system, this kind of abuse, that it was considered what kind of parent I was, because I made that movie."

She added, "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."

As far as the standard she was held to, Stone remarked, "You know, the guy that played Jeffrey Dahmer. No one thinks he's a person that eats people."

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The decision took a toll on her.

Sharon Stone at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Party in 2020
Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro / Shutterstock

On the podcast, Stone said that not being able to have her child live with her affected her physically.

Asked how she dealt with the decision, she responded, "Are you kidding? I ended up in the Mayo Clinic with extra heartbeats in the upper and lower chamber of my heart. When you say, 'break your heart.' It broke my heart."

She wrote about the experience in her book.

Sharon Stone at the Annenberg Space For Photography's Vanity Fair: Hollywood Calling Exhibit Opening in 2020
DFree / Shutterstock

In 2021, Stone's memoir The Beauty of Living Twice was published. In it, she talks about her health issues following the custody decision, including her heart problem and being diagnosed with anorexia, because she "had stopped eating and fallen apart and hadn't even noticed."

"After I lost primary custody of Roan, I couldn't function. I just lay on the couch. I was so damn tired," she wrote. After seeing doctors, she decided to take some time off of work to take care of herself.

Stone has three children.

Sharon Stone at the premiere of "Judy" in 2019
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Roan is now 22. Stone also has two other children: 17-year-old Laird Stone and 16-year-old Quinn Stone. In 2018, she opened up to People about being in a good place in her family life.

"I live in the same house I've had for 25 years, and I feel happy waking up in my house with my kids," she said. "They're at a wonderful age when we don't have to have a nanny living with us anymore. I can wake up on a Saturday and I come downstairs, and they're playing and we hang out. We swim, play basketball, we watch movies. We have such a lovely family dynamic."

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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