She is one of the most iconic actresses ever, but most people don’t know that Sharon Stone once had a life-altering stroke — and now she’s opening up about it.

The 61-year-old is taking on her new role as advocate for brain-aging diseases that disproportionally affect women. “This is why I do it: My mother had a stroke. My grandmother had a stroke. I had a massive stroke — and a nine-day brain bleed,” the star told Variety at an event she hosted to raise awareness for the Women’s Brain Health Initiative in West Hollywood on Wednesday, July 17.

Now that Sharon is making her way back to Hollywood after some time off, she revealed that her experience during her return hasn’t exactly been positive. “From other women in my own business to the female judge who handled my custody case, I don’t think anyone grasps how dangerous a stroke is for women and what it takes to recover — it took me about seven years,” she explained.

Sharon Stone
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“[From] trying to keep custody of my son to just functioning — to be able to work at all, I was so grateful to [LVMH head and now the second-richest person in the world] Bernard Arnault, who rescued me by giving me a Dior contract,” the Basic Instinct star recalled. “But I had to remortgage my house. I lost everything I had. I lost my place in the business. I was like the hottest movie star, you know? It was like Miss Princess Diana and I were so famous — and she died and I had a stroke. And we were forgotten.”

Since she is thankfully still around and working, Sharon did have some important advice for everyone. “if you have a really bad headache, you need to go to the hospital,” she said. “I didn’t get to the hospital until day three or four of my stroke. Most people die. I had a 1% chance of living by the time I got surgery — and they wouldn’t know for a month if I would live.” She added that she wasn’t aware of how close to death she truly was. “No one told me — I read it in a magazine.”

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This isn’t the first time the Casino costar has so honestly spoken about her stroke and brain hemorrhage. “[I had to relearn], everything, everything. My whole life was wiped out,” Sharon told CBS News in 2018. Scary!

We are just glad to hear that Sharon is healthy again — we look forward to seeing her work in the near future!