Sharon Stone Was Tricked Into The Basic Instinct Leg Crossing Scene, Threatened To Sue

Sharon Stone says she was manipulated into the now infamous scene from Basic Instinct.

By Drew Dietsch | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

sharon stone basic instinct leg scene

Sharon Stone has made quite a name for herself over the years as a prominent and successful actress. Even ridiculous flops like the ludicrous Catwoman and Basic Instinct 2 have not managed to tarnish her reputation. However, the original Basic Instinct will always be one of the most notable and infamous films in her body of work. Stone played the alluring and possibly sinister Catherine Tramell and the character has gone on to become one of the most iconic female antagonists in American film history. And what could arguably be the most famous scene in the movie sounds like it might have happened under manipulative circumstances.

In her new memoir, Sharon Stone talks about the notorious scene in Basic Instinct in which Catherine Tramell is being interviewed by police. During the interrogation, she seems to knowingly cross her legs and reveal her naked body underneath her dress to all the men in the room. It’s a moment of high sexual tension and has gone on to be one of the defining images from the film. However, Stone claims that the scene happened under false pretenses and that she even was considering taking legal action against the filmmakers.

“I’d been told, ‘We can’t see anything [revealing] — I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on’,” Sharon Stone says in an excerpt from her memoir (via Vanity Fair). It was after removing her panties that director Paul Verhoeven apparently shot the scene that revealed Stone’s fully visible vagina without Stone being aware it was taking place. “It was me and my parts up there,” Stone says. “I went to the projection booth, slapped Paul across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer.” While she did contemplate suing since she was filmed nude without her knowledge – a violation of Screen Actors Guild rules – she eventually decided not to pursue any legal ramifications against Verhoeven or anyone else involved in the production of Basic Instinct.

Sharon Stone

“I thought and thought and I chose to allow this scene in the film,” Sharon Stone says. “Why? Because it was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it.” While she seems to have voiced her understandable and justified displeasure about how the scene came to be, it sounds like she also made peace with the choice now. That certainly doesn’t excuse the behavior of Paul Verhoeven or anyone else that allowed the circumstances to unfold. Representatives for Verhoeven declined to give their side of the story after this excerpt was published.

Sharon Stone seems to be very open with her feelings about her Hollywood career. The same memoir featured an excerpt that alleged an incident with a particularly scummy producer that told her to sleep with one of her co-stars in order to create better on-screen chemistry for their characters. It will be interesting to see what other revelations happen when Sharon Stone’s memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, becomes available in full on March 30.