Brooke Shields Opens Up About Her Relationship With Dean Cain While at Princeton University: “I Was In Love”

Brooke Shields has had a long and illustrious acting career that dates back to 1966 when she was just 11 months old. By the time she turned 12 years old, she was starring in the popular 1978 film Pretty Baby which told the story of a 12-year-old girl who grows up in an elegant brothel and marries a much older man. 

In the three years that followed, she starred in the 1980 film Blue Lagoon and the 1981 film Endless Love – both of which told the story of a young girl exploring her sexuality with a young man. As a result of her early work, which featured several nude scenes as a minor, she was often sexualized and objectified. 

Brooke Shields Posts Throwback To Today Photos With Daughters
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Despite being portrayed as a ‘sex child,’ Brooke Shields admitted to being a virgin in 1985 at 20 years old. At the time, she was pursuing a degree in French literature at Princeton University, where she met and eventually started dating Dean Cain – who was a standout free safety for the school’s football team. 

RELATED: Brooke Shields Says Daughters Were Mad That They Weren’t Warned About Dark Details in New Documentary ‘Pretty Baby’

Brooke Shields ended up losing her virginity to Dean Cain at 22 years old – something she has opened up about in the past. And while they had a good relationship with one another, it never fully blossomed because she struggled to embrace her sexuality and live in the moment – fearing what others would think.

She recently opened up about this time in her life in an interview with PEOPLE. She admitted that she was in love and knew that it should’ve ‘been a delicious time for me of reveling in it and feeling proud and free,’ things didn’t work out that way – adding that they broke up, got back together, and broke up again.

“But it was as if I was just paralyzed from shame, thinking everybody was going to know, thinking of letting my fans down because I had professed one thing,” Shields said of the fear she had over her fans finding out that she lost her virginity. That fear ultimately resulted in her distancing herself sexually. 

Knowing she had something good – she called Cain ‘beautiful’ and ‘mouthwatering’ – she decided to apologize to her old boyfriend just a few years ago. “He just was so loyal and loving and just so in love. And I did not make it easy,” she admitted – adding she not only apologized to him but to herself. 

Brooke Shields Wants Her Daughters to Learn From Her Past

Not embracing her sexuality and not living in the moment are the two things that ultimately led to the downfall of her relationship with Dean Cain, but she’s not letting those two things hold her back today. And, while that relationship folded more than 35 years ago, she’s now happily married to Chris Henchy.

Shields and Henchy tied the knot in 2001, just two years after her divorce from Andre Agassi. The happy couple shares two daughters together – Rowan Francis, 19, and Grier Hammond, 16 – and she’s now using her past experiences and mistakes as life lessons while her daughters explore their own sexuality. 

“I want them to feel celebrated rather than shamed — shamed by their body, shamed by their sexuality,” she said in her PEOPLE interview, adding that ‘it’s such a burden to carry.’ A lot of those life lessons, including ones she has never spoken about to her daughters, are featured in her upcoming documentary. 

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Brooke Shields: Pretty Baby is set to premiere on April 3 via Hulu, but her daughters have already seen it – in fact, they’ve already gotten mad at their mother for not disclosing some of its contents prior to them watching it, such as the moment she was raped in her early 20s. You can read more about it here.

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