Paul Verhoeven maintains that his recollection is "radically different" from Stone's.

Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven has again denied Sharon Stone's accusation that he tricked her into doing the film's infamous leg-crossing scene without underwear. The actress has repeatedly alleged, most recently in her memoir The Beauty of Living Twice, that she was told she would not be exposed on screen.

"I'd been told, 'We can't see anything — I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on,'" Stone wrote in the book. She added that she didn't see the "vagina-shot" until she attended a screening of the film, and then "went to the projection booth, slapped Paul across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer."

In an interview with Variety published Wednesday, Verhoeven, who has previously denied Stone's claims, said his memory of the incident "is radically different from Sharon's memory."

Sharon Stone in 'Basic Instinct'
| Credit: Everett Collection

"She knew exactly what we were doing," the filmmaker continued. "I told her it was based on a story of a woman that I knew when I was a student who did the crossing of her legs without panties regularly at parties. When my friend told her we could see her vagina, she said, 'Of course, that's why I do it.' Then Sharon and I decided to do a similar sequence."

Verhoeven also claimed that he and Stone "still have a pleasant relationship and exchange text messages," and added, "That does not stand in the way and has nothing to do with the wonderful way that she portrayed Catherine Tramell. She is absolutely phenomenal… But her version is impossible."

In her memoir, Stone writes, "I did have choices. So I thought and thought and I chose to allow this scene in the film. Why? Because it was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it."

Verhoeven's latest film, the lesbian nun drama Benedetta, premieres Friday at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Basic Instinct
  • Movie
  • 127 minutes

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