"Basic Instinct" director Paul Verhoeven has broken his silence on Sharon Stone's claims that she was tricked into doing a nude scene in the 1992 erotic thriller.
Sharon Stone, whose portrayal of alleged serial killer Catherine Tramell in the movie made her a star, had claimed in her memoir "The Beauty of Living Twice" that she was misled into shooting the infamous cross-legged scene in the flick. The controversial scene features her character Catharine Tramell exposing herself while being interrogated by detectives about the murder of her ex-boyfriend.
The actress alleged that a member of the production team had told her to take her underwear off for a technical reason and assured her that her private area would not be visible on film. But during a preview of the final edit played in a room full of agents and lawyers she discovered that they had kept the part.
"That was how I saw my vagina-shot for the first time, long after 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. Yes, there have been many points of view on this topic, but since I'm the one with the vagina, in question, let me say: The other points of view are bulls***. ... It was me and my parts up there," she wrote in the memoir.
The Oscar-winner also said that she slapped the film's director Paul Verhoeven across the face after seeing the scene, and left the premises. Her lawyer told her that the manipulation wasn't legal and she told the same to Verhoeven, but the latter "vehemently denied" that she had any choice at all.
"But 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," she said.
Verhoeven is now denying Stone's narration of the story, and claims that his recollection is "radically different from Sharon's memory." He told Variety, "Her version is impossible. She knew exactly what we were doing. 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."
However, Verhoeven acknowledged that he still has a "pleasant relationship" with Stone and they exchange text messages. He also praised her work in the movie, saying that their different recollection "does not stand in the way and has nothing to do with the wonderful way that she portrayed Catherine Tramell."
"She is absolutely phenomenal," the 82-year-old said.