Brooke Shields has opened up about a serious health scare that included a surreal, only-in-New York moment involving Bradley Cooper last month.
The actor and supermodel revealed in a new interview with Glamour that she had “a full-blown grand mal seizure” on Sept. 7, five days before her one-woman show, “Previously Owned by Brooke Shields,” opened at the Café Carlyle in New York City.
“I was preparing for the show, and I was drinking so much water, and I didn’t know I was low in sodium,” Shields said. “I was waiting for an Uber. I get down to the bottom of the steps, and I start evidently looking weird, and (the people I was with) were like, ‘Are you okay?'”
Shields then said she left her house and was walking to the corner.
“I’m like, ‘Why am I out here?’ Then I walk into the restaurant L’Artusi, and I go to the sommelier who had just taken an hour to watch my run-through,” she said. “I go in, two women come up to me; I don’t know them. Everything starts to go black. Then my hands drop to my side and I go headfirst into the wall.”
Shields, 58, said she began having a grand mal seizure, which is also known as a tonic-clonic seizure. It causes a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions and can be triggered by very low blood sugar, a high fever or a stroke, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“It means frothing at the mouth, totally blue, trying to swallow my tongue,” Shields said. “The next thing I remember, I’m being loaded into an ambulance. I have oxygen on.”
When Shields regained consciousness, she briefly thought she might have died given what she saw.
“And Bradley f—— Cooper is sitting next to me holding my hand,” she said.
“I didn’t have a sense of humor,” she continued. “I couldn’t really get any words out. But I thought to myself, ‘This is what death must be like. You wake up and Bradley Cooper’s going, ‘I’m going to go to the hospital with you, Brooke,’ and he’s holding my hand. And I’m looking at my hand, I’m looking at Bradley Cooper’s hand in my hand, and I’m like, ‘This is odd and surreal.'”
The sommelier at the restaurant had tried to reach Shields’s husband, Chris Henchy, and reached an assistant instead. That assistant then called another assistant who called the Oscar-nominated actor, who was in the area, according to Glamour.
“His assistant called Bradley and said, ‘Brooke’s on the ground. Chris isn’t around. Go get her,'” Shields said. “And he came, and somebody called the ambulance. And then it was like I walked in with Jesus.”
TODAY has reached out to Cooper for comment.
Shields said she underwent a battery of tests and was put into the intensive-care unit at a hospital. Doctors eventually determined the cause of the seizure.
“Low sodium,” she said. “I had had too much water. I flooded my system, and I drowned myself. And if you don’t have enough sodium in your blood or urine or your body, you can have a seizure.”
She then shared her frustrations in the aftermath.
“And then male doctors kept asking me if I was limiting my salt,” she said. “And I said, ‘You know what? I’ve had it with male doctors. I know you’re all smart — smarter than I am in what you do. But let me just tell you something: I look younger when I’m bloated. If I’m bloated, people think I’ve had Botox.'”
Shields said she was not limiting her salt intake.
“Stop trying to make me a crazy actress or a female that doesn’t know what the f— they’re doing,” she said. “I was drinking too much water because I felt dehydrated because I was singing more than I’ve ever sung in my life and doing a show and a podcast. So they were just like, ‘Eat potato chips every day.'”
The mom of two shared her outlook on her health as she approaches 60.
“I love food and I love alcohol and I love life and I want to be healthy for my heart,” she said. “I don’t like going to the gym. I like Pilates. That’s where I am. And I am tired of not feeling skinny enough. It’s boring, and it’s a waste of my time.”
Her show in New York this fall follows a documentary released on Hulu in April called “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields,” in which she reflects on her rise to prominence as a child actor and model, the impact of fame and traumatic events from her past.