Sharon Stone: Hollywood was 'brutally unkind' after I had stroke

Sharon Stone attends the Brain Health Initiative 100th anniversary of women's suffrage gala at Eric Buterbaugh Los Angeles on July 17, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Sharon Stone was shunned by Hollywood in a “brutally unkind” manner after she had a stroke.

The Basic Instinct star opened up on the way she was treated after suffering a debilitating stroke in 2001 at an event to raise awareness for the Women’s Brain Health Initiative in West Hollywood on Wednesday night.

Stone, now an advocate for brain-ageing diseases, claimed she was “forgotten” by Hollywood, and the fallout from the devastating illness left her battling to keep a roof over her head.

“My mother had a stroke. My grandmother had a stroke. I had a massive stroke – and a nine-day brain bleed,” she told Variety. “People treated me in a way that was brutally unkind,” the 61-year-old said. “From other women in my own business to the female judge who handled my custody case, I don’t think anyone grasps how dangerous a stroke is for women and what it takes to recover – it took me about seven years.”

During that time, Stone battled to keep custody of her son Roan, and was unable to work, which left her struggling financially.

Sharon Stone and her son Roan attend The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

“(From) trying to keep custody of my son to just functioning – to be able to work at all,” Stone added. “I was so grateful to (LVMH head) Bernard Arnault, who rescued me by giving me a Dior contract. But I had to remortgage my house.

She continued: “I lost everything I had. I lost my place in the business. I was like the hottest movie star, you know?… It was like Miss Princess Diana and I were so famous – and she died and I had a stroke. And we were forgotten.”

As an advocate for the disease, which disproportionately affects women, the Casino star is keen to pass on the life-saving information she was previously ignorant of.

“If you have a really bad headache, you need to go to the hospital,” urged the mother of three. “I didn’t get to the hospital until day three or four of my stroke. Most people die. I had a 1% chance of living by the time I got surgery – and they wouldn’t know for a month if I would live.”

 

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