In response to the November 24 issue with Brooke Shields.
Teri Shields was many things- strong willed, over-protective, and at times provocative. Teri saw in Brooke what we all did- one of the most beautiful faces and used that to succeed- for Brooke and for herself. Terihad married into a rather wealthy family, and after being married for a short time Teri wanted for Brooke the life she was born into having. Unfortunately the marriage failed and Teri was very very independent. As a former model herself, she saw not only what could be, but what should be. A lot had happened in that long illustrious controversial career, but in the end Brooke has the life Teri wanted- including the social registry associated with the Hampton's family.
Many have commented and criticized Teri for managerial skills, but no-one can deny her maternal skills. Brooke went to a normal high-school, did normal things from cheer-leading to riding her beloved horses. Teri's maternal skills far outweighed her survival skills as I am here to prove it. I was a broken little boy whom she took it upon herself to makes sure was properly cared for. And in Teri's spirit and my obligation to pay-it forward, this 1214/ December 14 in honor of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims we will be launching a national campaign that #STOPBullyingSTOPSchoolViolence on the second anniversary. We understand that bullying is the biggest instigator in this pandemic of school shootings, and we believe if we can get every student to sign a contract to be kind and to promise NOT to bully we can prevent the next
As a 12 y/o little boy I was abused by a neighbor 38yrs to my junior. I obviously didn't understand rape, let alone it being assaulted by a man, so to say the least I did not bode well. I became a self isolated kid who eventually spent the year in and out of the hospital as I suffered deep emotionally. I had seen Blue Lagoon, and the only way I was to survive was that I had to dream- I too was on that Blue Lagoon and played some Risky Business. After a failed suicide attempt I began to escape into the Hollywood dream world, and began to send Brooke Shields messages.
It wasn't anything creepy- a basic fan letter. Those letters soon began being answered and eventually I felt safe enough o share my innermost secrets. Brooke Shields' mother Terri would call 1x or 2x a week after receiving a letter which eluded to my being abused. Mrs. Shields would talk to my folks and explain the 'secret' which then helped me to accept my abuse which allowed me the necessary steps to heal. It seems crazy that in the 80's, that Brooke and her mom would take interest in a broken boy, but they did.
They sensed my pain and wanted to extend themselves to show that people really do care- it saved my life. I spent the next few years seeking treatment.
About 15 years later, or so I would befriend an ex salesman from Gucci who was the Shields' go to guy. He laughed saying that Brooke was very conservative and didn't indulge much, but Teri, Teri would order 3pairs of crocodile loafers at a time that infuriated Brooke. What's interesting here was that I told this guy my story, and that I was alive today because of the kindness of a stranger and then shared what Mrs. Shields had done. The sales-guy then explained that he remembered Mrs. Shields sharing the same story to him and her needing advice. What's even more interesting was that we had we not dated for several months, I'd have had no idea.
Right before my sophomore year, I was hit by a drunk driver and broke my neck-c3 and c5. I also shattered both the fibula and tibia. The next full year I was in and out of hospitals, and in 12month's time, I was walking without a limp and was fully healed. To say I had defied all logic would be an understatement. My doctors had initially prepared me for a far worse state- they had originally believed I would most likely lose my left leg, and even quite possibly remain paralyzed from the neck down.
With my new season on life, thankful to be alive, and remembering the kindness of a stranger, I set out to LA. My foolish plan was to become the next Tom Cruise. It wasn't until I did several tv shows, dated Halle Berry, and spent 6months working on A Few Good Men, that I didn't have to be
the star to do good. I then met Matthew Broderick at a Hollywood house party and he shared with me his charity work with Young Artists United. I proceeded to ask how I could help and he proceeded with my introduction. I quickly joined Matthew and from there I went off onto my own and have lived a life of service ever since.
I didn't appreciate my life as a kid because I was too broken. Now that I learned the importance of kindness and saw the decency of humanity I wanted to help all kids and to prevent them from ever feeling as I had growing up.
December 14, 2012, SandyHook, Newtown, and all the world experienced one of the most horrific events in US history. Within days of the shootings, I had left New York City, went to Newtown, CT. It wasn't my intention to stay, but after being welcomed, I stayed and haven't left. With our representing the town, the families and realizing the importance of combating abuse/violence, we are now building a $25- $30 million dollar KidsCenter.
I went from trying to end my life every way imaginable to fighting tooth and nail to keep it. If Teri Shields hadn't cared for a total stranger, I would not be here today. If that kindness wasn't matched with a life changing event I wouldn't have been compelled to a life of service. And with all that we are honoring the victims of SandyHook and paying tribute to all who suffered school violence/shootings. It's a pay it forward.