The actress, 71, opened up about her feelings regarding the icon’s death and her book, In Pieces, in an interview with The New York Times, published Tuesday.
“This would hurt him,” Field, who was in a relationship with Reynolds from 1977 to 1982, told the newspaper. “I felt glad that he wasn’t going to read it, he wasn’t going to be asked about it, and he wasn’t going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have.”
“I did not want to hurt him any further,” she added.
On writing the book, which includes memories of their time together, the actress said she was “flooded with feelings and nostalgia” about him.
When asked about her relationship with Reynolds, Field described it to the NYT as “confusing and complicated, and not without loving and caring, but really complicated and hurtful to me.”
The two-time Oscar-winning actress also included shocking allegations about her stepfather, actor and stuntman Jock Mahoney.
Field writes in her memoir that Mahoney would frequently call her into his bedroom alone.
“I knew,” she wrote, according to the NYT. “I felt both a child, helpless, and not a child. Powerful. This was power. And I owned it. But I wanted to be a child — and yet.”
Now, Field sees connections between her and Reynold’s romance and the relationship with her stepfather.
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“I was somehow exorcising something that needed to be exorcised,” she said. “I was trying to make it work this time.” Reynolds died on Thursday, Sept. 6, at 82 years old, according to manager Erik Kritzer.
Following Reynolds’ death earlier this month, Field remembered him in a statement to PEOPLE, “There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even forty years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”
In Pieces is out on Sept. 18.