While discussing the impact of the iconic film on her life, Stone told the Table for Two podcast that her controversial role in the psychological thriller as Catherine Tramell – a serial killer and the main character’s love interest – led people and the legal system to make assumptions about her actual personality and parenting ability.
“I lost custody of my child,” she said. “When the judge asked my child – my little boy – ‘Do you know your mother makes sex films?’, like this kind of abuse of the system, this kind of abuse that I was considered, what kind of parent was I because I made that movie.”
Stone and her husband at the time, newspaper editor Phil Bronstein, adopted a son in 2000. Bronstein filed for divorce in 2003 and ended up receiving custody of their child — a situation Stone says caused her heartbreak.
“I ended up at the Mayo Clinic with extra heartbeats in my upper and lower chambers,” she said. “It broke my heart.”
Stone also noted how different things are today compared to when she was judged by her character during her custody battle.
“People walk around with no clothes on at all on regular TV now. And you saw maybe like one-sixteenth of a second of possible nudity of me,” she said.
In addition to losing custody of her child, Stone said other people in the industry looked down on her for being involved in films that pushed the envelope like “Basic Instinct.”
“I was nominated for a Golden Globe for that part, and when I went to the Golden Globes and they called my name, a bunch of people in the room laughed,” she said. “I was so humbled. And I thought, does anyone have any idea how difficult it was to play that role? And to kind of try to carry this complex film that really pushes all boundaries?”
As a result of the fallout from “Basic Instinct” — personally and professionally — Stone said she avoids playing characters who have dark personalities or who are highly sexualized.
“It’s brutal to play these characters,” the “Casino” actor explained. “And that’s why I don’t play them anymore.”
Stone ended her discussion on the topic with a reminder that people shouldn’t confuse actors with their characters, adding that what happened to her in her custody battle should be “illegal.”
“I mean the guy who played Jeffery Dahmer — nobody thinks he’s a (person) who eats people,” she said. “It makes him a very complex person who took on an incredibly difficult role that probably made him bad to play.”