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Lying in the emergency room after a catastrophic stroke and brain hemorrhage in 2001, Sharon Stone had a near-death, out-of-body experience in which a group of friends appeared in a vision at her bedside.

The trio – who’d already passed away — told the actress not to be afraid.

“The light was so luminous,” the “Basic Instinct” and “Ratched” star recalls of the encounter in her new memoir, “The Beauty of Living Twice” (Knopf; out Tuesday). “It was so . . . mystical. I wanted to know it. I wanted to immerse myself.”

The next moment, however, she felt “like I had been kicked in the middle of my chest by a mule,” and she “made a choice to survive.” She awoke with “the kind of gasp you take when you are underwater far too long.”

Two decades on and fully recovered, the model-turned-Oscar-nominated-actress, now 63, believes her health crisis helped make her stronger, more outspoken and better able to deal with past traumas. They include failed relationships, three miscarriages, all at 5½ months into the pregnancies, and childhood sexual abuse.

Sharon Stone’s new memoir is
“The Beauty of Living Twice.”

In the tome, Stone takes a swing at Hollywood predators. Among them is an unnamed producer who pressured her to have real-life sex with a co-star to save a flailing movie. Meanwhile, the unidentified actor in question made a “few haphazard passes” at her, undoubtedly “spurred on by this [the producer] genius.”

She also talks about the infamous bare-crotch scene in 1992’s erotic thriller “Basic Instinct,” which she says she’d been led to believe was far less revealing than it turned out. Director Paul Verhoeven has previously said Stone is “lying” about being misled — but his leading lady asserts that, as the “one with the vagina,” the other points of view are “bulls – – t.”

According to the two-time Emmy winner’s memoir, a member of the film’s production team told her: “We can’t see anything — I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on.”

Sharon Stone in her legendary leg crossing scene from 1992’s “Basic Instinct.”
©TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Nevertheless, it’s the details about Stone’s growing up in blue collar Meadville, Pa. — where she won a county beauty pageant before signing with Ford Modeling Agency in 1977 — that make the most disturbing reading.

Stone reveals that she and her younger sister, Kelly, were abused by their maternal grandfather, Clarence Lawson — aided by their grandmother, whom Lawson also abused. She would trap the girls in a room with her husband when they visited, starting when they were just toddlers.

At Lawson’s funeral (he died of a heart attack when she was 14), Stone reached into the casket to check that he could no longer harm them. “I poked him, and the bizarre satisfaction that he was at last dead hit me like a ton of ice,” she writes. “I looked at [Kelly] and she understood; she was 11, and it was over.”

That same year, the teen was badly injured in a horse-riding accident when the animal bucked as it charged toward a washing line, ripping open Stone’s neck. “There was plasma rolling down the front of my shirt,” she writes. “It was a gigantic f – – ked-up mess of drastic proportions.” She has undergone repeated attempts at plastic surgery to disguise the scar, which “most people don’t seem to notice.”

In the memoir, Stone adds: “I personally feel proud of my scars. Even the ones that no one can see.”

Sharon Stone writes about sexual abuse and nearly dying from a stroke in “The Beauty of Living Twice.”

As for the massive stroke that happened when she was 43, the single mother of three sons recalls how she first felt numbness in her body followed by “terrible pain” in her head.

The brain bleed was diagnosed at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, where she later experienced the white-light moment featuring the three friends who had “crossed over before.” Even though at one point she was given a 1 percent chance of survival, she was eventually saved by a complex seven-hour surgery.

Afterward, she became something of a “hippie” who embraced Buddhism. “It’s amazing how much one learns when one has to,” she writes. “I became ‘Miss Peace and F – – king Quiet,’ a title that I prize much higher than a Miss Crawford County pageant title.”

The twice-divorced Stone (she was married to screenwriter Michael Greenburg and then journalist Phil Bronstein) knows the revelations in her bombshell book will shatter that calm. But she expects to have no regrets over opening up about her life.

“I learned to see things differently,” she concludes in the final chapter. “I learned this from dying, from living, and from being what I’ve often been called: ‘The Last Living Movie Star.’ ”


Sharon Stone in Ryan Murphy’s 2020 project “Ratched.”
©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

Turning the pages on Sharon Stone’s life

With the publication of her new memoir, Sharon Stone is revealing a glamorous but often strange life. Some highlights:

She had a surprise breast enlargement

According to Stone’s new book, she had reconstructive surgery to remove breast tumors that were “gigantic, bigger than my breast alone.” While she was out of it on anesthesia, she claims the doctor improvised the reconstruction. He “thought that I would look better with bigger ‘better’ boobs.” She recalled being told, “They go better with your hip size.” And she added, “He had changed my body without my knowledge or consent.” 

Komodo dragons plague Sharon Stone

Three years ago, Stone tweeted a video that showed a 10-foot-long Komodo dragon strolling up her street in Beverly Hills. “So dangerous!” she wrote. It was not her first experience with the giant lizard. Stone saw one attack her then-husband Phil Bronstein, and nearly eat his foot at the Los Angeles Zoo. During the more recent encounter, she was driving down the street with her kids when they wanted a better look at the dragon. As she recently told the New Yorker, “I was, like, ‘What the f – – k? Kids roll up the windows!’ And they’re, like, ‘No, we’re rolling down the windows, we’re looking.’ ” Apparently, it was a neighbor’s pet and had somehow gotten loose.

Stone is on Team Woody

Stone has acknowledged that HBO’s four-part docuseries, “Allen v. Farrow,” which is centered on allegations that Woody Allen sexually abused his adopted Dylan Farrow, could be completely accurate. But she did not see that predatory side of the director while working with him on films such as “Stardust Memories.” Nevertheless, during the making of that movie, as a 20-year-old, she writes about being directed to kiss the window of a train. Her initial smooch was not good enough and Allen told her, “I want you to kiss the window like you are really kissing me.” As Stone puts it in her book, “Well, I really laid one on that window.”  

She’s been struck by lightning

As a teenager, Stone was ironing her Bob’s Big Boy uniform in the kitchen of her family’s Meadville, Pennsylvania, home.  As explained in her memoir, “I had one hand on the spigot and the other holding the iron, filling it with the water that came straight from our well when lightning hit the well. It threw me across the kitchen and into the fridge. My mother screamed and slapped me across the face.” Stone had passed out and her mother “restarted my heart.”

Stone is ‘almost agoraphobic’

She told the New Yorker that, in terms of astrology, “she is born in the week of the loner on the day of the loner, so I’m very introverted.” She also acknowledged that there are more tangible reasons for her borderline agoraphobia. “I had the kind of fame where people chase you down the street, and stores have to lock the doors and hide you. People get on top of your car until the car actually caves in . . . SWAT teams are called. So that will introvert a gal.”

Bumble gave her the bum’s rush 

Sharon Stone got booted from Bumble. The online dating site slapped the ban on her because users reported the movie star as a fake. Soon after, Stone took to social media and asked, “Is being me exclusionary? Don’t shut me out of the hive.” Bumble let her back in. Stone told the Times of London that she found online dating to be a “cool learning experience during COVID, where you really know you can’t get together.” She remains up for grabs, but she said, “I don’t know if I’m a person who’s going to get to have a relationship in my life.”

She’s still pals with Arnold Schwarzenegger

Stone says she put on nearly 20 pounds getting into fighting shape for her scenes with Schwarzenegger — “beating the shit out of Arnold, in space” —  in 1990’s “Total Recall.” The pair have stayed friends — and Stone, a Democrat, says she even voted for the “lunkhead” action star, who went on to become the Republican governor of California. “He taught me so much, about how to do my job, better than I thought I could, and how to do publicity: ‘Answer the question they should have asked,’ ” she writes in her memoir. “Brilliant, I have to say, unless it’s . . . none of anyone’s business. Then I ask a question about them. He taught me that, too.”

— Michael Kaplan





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