To her many fans, Sharon Stone’s life appeared to be an open book. Since becoming a star with 1992’s Basic Instinct, the outgoing, charismatic actress has given hours of interviews about her passions, work and even the 2001 stroke that nearly ended her life and career. Yet Sharon, 63, never told the public about her childhood trauma, until now.

In her new memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, the actress recalls the sexual abuse she and her sister, Kelly, 60, suffered as children, and their mother’s failure to protect them. Sharon admits that even after her abuser, her maternal grandfather, Clarence Lawson, died, this terrible secret drove a wedge between the women. “I have felt rage and indignation, and I have responded with condescension and cruelty,” Sharon writes of her dealings with her mother, Dorothy. “Eventually I faced myself and stopped my relationship with her.”

Sharon and Kelly never discussed what had happened to them as children until they were in their 20s. Talking helped bring the sisters closer and finally made them feel free from their grandfather’s malicious influence. “Now that we have broken this vow of silence … we are present with one another. The real brutality is that it is decades later,” Sharon admits.

Sharon Stone Survivor Story
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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Angel Naval/MARINA PRESS/Shutterstock (10468312an)
Sharon Stone
Harper’s Bazaar Attitude Awards, Madrid, Spain – 05 Nov 2019

It took even longer for Sharon and Dorothy, who insisted she didn’t know about the abuse, to forge a new relationship. “I had to meet my mother as a person, separate from my childhood experiences and judgments of her, and know her from an adult perspective,” writes Sharon, who has said that crafting her memoir and reading it to her mother helped. “Simply speaking this out loud to each other cleared the room and let us see one another. I saw a woman I never really knew, a brilliant woman who never had a chance to dream.”

For this story and more, pick up the latest issue of Closer magazine, on newsstands now.