Brooke Shields Addresses Infamous Calvin Klein Ad

Actress says she wasn't in on the joke
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2021 9:15 AM CDT
Brooke Shields on How Jeans Ad Controversy Backfired
Brooke Shields attends the annual MoMA Film Benefit, presented by CHANEL   (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

Brooke Shields has addressed the controversy that once surrounded her due to a tongue-in-cheek denim ad she appeared in 40 years ago. In an interview with Vogue, the actress and model revealed she wasn't in on the double entendre of the phrase "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing,"--if there even was one. "I didn’t think it was about underwear or sexual in nature," Shields said, per Today. "What was shocking to me was to be berated by ‘Oh, you knew this was happening. This is what you thought. You were thinking these thoughts.'"

Shields said she was never told by the ad's creators that the line was a reference to underwear, or lack thereof. But she was just 15 at the time and, as People notes, Shields was forced to go on a press tour to attempt to lessen the fallout. Fast forward to 2021 and Shields sees folly in those behind the outcry, not the famous commercial. "I feel like the controversy backfired," she said. "The campaign was extremely successful. And then, I think the underwear sort of overtook the jeans, and they understood what sells and how to push the envelope." (More Brooke Shields stories.)

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