Sharon Stone caught CBS Sunday Morning‘s Lee Cowan off guard when he asked Stone about her own experience with sexual harassment in Hollywood. The actress, 59, who’s making a career comeback with Steven Soderbergh’s HBO series Mosaic, burst into laughter — for a solid 10 seconds.
“I don’t know how to ask this in a delicate way, but were you ever in a position like that, that you felt that you were uncomfortable?” Cowan asked after discussing the Time’s Up initiative.
As the laughter began, he remarked, “You’re laughing, but I don’t know if that’s a nervous laugh or [an] ‘are you kidding me? Of course I was’ laugh.”
The Basic Instinct and Total Recall actress then replied, “I’ve been in this business for 40 years, Lee. Can you imagine the business I stepped into 40 years ago? Looking like I look, from nowhere, Pennsylvania? I didn’t come here with any protection. I’ve seen it all.”
She explained earlier how women “were raised to accommodate men, particularly in my generation, and women so often lose their own identity to the identity of the men that they’re with. They even change the way they dress and what they do to fit to the men that they’re with.”
Stone, a supporter of Time’s Up, had previously spoken out against sexual assault on college campuses at Santa Clara University in November 2016. Former Stanford University student Brock Turner was convicted in March of that year of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus, and Stone had read an “Emily Doe letter” from his victim.
“There are many Emily Does,” she said, “many women who have not been heard, and we need to change the culture and the laws.”
Now, she says, “We’re starting to acknowledge our own gifts as women and not think that we have to behave as men in order to be empowered or powerful or valuable.”
To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.
Watch Stone’s profile on CBS Sunday Morning above.