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Human Shields

People think they know Brooke Shields. There’s a Truman Show-iness to the way she grew up with us all watching her represent clean-limbed American glamour. But what’s the movie she lives in—in her own head—when she’s at home in New York?

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY DENIS PIEL
STYLED BY JOHN VERTIN

Brooke Shields was only 15 when Calvin Klein had her pronounce, “I’ve got seven Calvins in my closet, and if they could talk, I’d be ruined,” and we didn’t believe it. It’s still hard to. But Brooke was never the “living, breathing doll” that Warhol described her as being, and that we probably all agreed she was. She’s a real woman, nearly 40, who does yoga at Jivamukti and carries her child on the subway in a Baby Björn. After her divorce from Andre Agassi, and the end of Suddenly Susan, in 2000, she started over with Spin City writer Chris Henchy. It took more than a year of aggressive fertility treatments to have their daughter, Rowan Francis, last year, but for all the joy the baby brought them, Shields got severe postpartum depression. Now she’s writing a book, to be called Down Came the Rain, to help other mothers who suffer the way she did, and she’s in talks to do a show on Broadway once the book is out. After living her entire life on the Upper East Side, she’s recently moved her family to a light-filled loft in Soho. “There’s always been a sense of community there,” she says. “And even though there’s a lot that’s changing, you know what to expect. You can always rely on New York.”


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