"We have it monitored all the time," Brooke Shields says of the social media accounts for daughters Grier, 14, and Rowan, 17

By Jen Juneau and Christina Dugan
August 20, 2020 11:30 AM
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Brooke Shields and her daughters
Sonia Moskowitz/WireImage

Brooke Shields takes her daughters' privacy seriously.

The supermodel and actress, 55, is Ali Wentworth's guest on the first-ever episode of Go Ask Ali, Wentworth's new Shondaland podcast that launches Thursday.

During the episode, Shields discusses raising two girls — Grier Hammond, 14, and Rowan Francis, 17 — and reveals that she and husband Chris Henchy "have access to all of their social media."

"We have the power to turn it off for any reason. I can't follow her," says Shields of daughter Rowan. "I have to follow her through another account just for security reasons. One of them is public and one of them is private."

"At 16, we said, 'As long as we can still have control over it and as long as you don't post anything inappropriate, we will let you,' " the mother of two continues. "Now that she's in high school, her friend group has really opened up. We have it monitored all the time."

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Brooke Shields and family
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Shields says she trusts Rowan's "view" and "fear" of social media, explaining, "We have put the fear of God into them with regards to, 'Whatever you post doesn't go away. The words you choose have to be chosen very carefully.' "

"They're starting to get it a little bit ... as long as I can keep a little fear in them," she adds.

The Blue Lagoon actress also reveals she had a "very strange relationship with sexuality as a child," and that "it's hard for [her] to talk to [her] kids about" it now.

"I'm dealing with this right now with one of my daughters," Shields tells Wentworth, 55. "There's an agency that wants her to start modeling and I kept saying, 'I need to understand the why.' It's a very different industry than it is now. This man said to me, 'She's too young. She's 14. We wait until 16, signing them and taking care of them.' "

Brooke Shields
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"The odd thing for me, I was 9, 8, 7 — I was doing these pictures forever, yet I do Pretty Baby and all of a sudden I become the most famous virgin in the world," she recalls of the 1978 film in which she played a child sex worker in New Orleans. "I grew up with absolutely the most conflicting, paradoxical way of living. I just shut down."

Shields admits it "wasn't liberating" to play certain roles in her youth, as she "was so ashamed of everything growing up," including the way she looked.

"I didn't have big boobs. I thought my butt was big. There was all these weird messages that I was getting that were so contradictory," she says. "I wanted to hide. Even if I were to play a role, it wasn't liberating for me."

And in terms of how she approaches the idea of self-worth with Grier and Rowan, "There's a part of me that looks at the girls [and thinks], 'They're proud of their bodies.' I don't want them to lose that," Shields shares. "I don't want them to have shame [about] their bodies, but I want there to be enough fear."

Ali Wentworth for Go Ask Ali
Shondaland

For Wentworth, her inspiration behind launching Go Ask Ali was the fact that she "really wanted to do something that I was truly interested in and something I really wanted to talk about."

"One of the things I seem to talk about a lot are teenagers because I have two and as I was trying to cultivate what my podcast was going to be, COVID hit," says the actress, who shares daughters Harper Andrea, 15, and Elliott Anastasia, 17, with husband George Stephanopoulos. "I thought, 'I'd be really interested to know how you grow a teenager in a pandemic.' It started from there."

"It's hard enough to raise a teenager, but in a pandemic, this is the time where most kids want to be away from their parents. Just how their physical emotional life changes in this time," Wentworth continues. "There's a lot going on in the world. I can see it with my own kids. It's having a huge effect on them. It's an interesting area to explore and seemed very timely."

"The second part of the season will be a little funnier, which is how to have a relationship in a pandemic. You have to change the parameters a little bit. These are areas that I find very interesting and fun to explore," she adds. "I hope when people listen they not only find it interesting and somewhat entertaining, but I hope there will be a few things that they'll hear and really take in and that they'll repeat to other people."