We’ve heard in the headlines about her personal struggles but Sharon Stone has seldomly spoken publicly about them herself — until now. In a recent interview with AARP The Magazine, the actress/producer opened up for the first time about what it was like waking up from the brain hemorrhage that nearly killed her back in 2001. She underwent a successful five-hour operation but always feared her life would never be the same. “I came out of the hospital with short- and long-term memory loss. My lower left leg was numb. I couldn’t hear out of my right ear. The side of my face was falling down. I thought, ‘I’ll never be pretty again. Who’s going to want to be around me?'” Although her husband at the time, newspaper editior Phil Bronstein, was by her side through the ordeal, the pair wound up in a painful and messy divorce in 2004 because of “irreconcilable differences.” “He just didn’t see me, talk to me, look at me,” says the actress. “His initial intention with me was probably corrupt. I was suckered. I’m embarrassed to say that.”
Despite the hurdles in her life, Stone seems to have made peace with the woman she’s become, even if it’s not the same award-winning actress she may have been several years ago (she won a Golden Globe Award in 1996 for her role in Casino, which also earned her an Oscar nomination.) “If I’m not going to be a big movie star again, then guess what? That wasn’t my destiny. People call and want me to play parts that I used to play. I’m like, ‘You have no idea what I have been through!'” she says. “I thought I’d never be okay again. But you can get okay—though you have to have fortitude.” And she certainly seems to have it. Stone is slated to star in not one, but four upcoming movies: The Mule, Gods Behaving Badly, Lovelace, and The Beauty of Sharks.