Brooke Shields had a health scare the week of her cabaret debut — and help came from a surprising source.
The model and actress, 58, revealed in her new Glamour 2023 Women of the Year cover story that she suffered a grand mal seizure before a performance of her one-woman show, Previously Owned by Brooke Shields, at New York City’s Café Carlyle, a famed performing arts venue and restaurant.
“I was preparing for the show, and I was drinking so much water, and I didn’t know I was low in sodium,” Shields recalled to Glamour. “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 OK?’ “
She explained that she left her home, but kept getting asked by her companions if she was “all right” and needed some coffee. She said she “walked” to a “corner” outside and felt discombobulated before heading into nearby N.Y.C. restaurant L’Artusi.
“. . . I go to the sommelier who had just taken an hour to watch my run-through . . . Everything starts to go black. Then my hands drop to my side and I go headfirst into the wall,” the actress explained.
She said that was when the grand mal seizure started, describing it to the publication as “frothing at the mouth, totally blue, trying to swallow my tongue.”
“The next thing I remember, I’m being loaded into an ambulance. I have oxygen on. And Bradley f—ing Cooper is sitting next to me holding my hand,” Shields shared.
“I didn’t have a sense of humor,” she added. “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.’ “
Shields told Glamour that the sommelier at L’Artusi tried to get into contact with her husband, Chris Henchy, but ended up on the phone with an assistant — who reached out to another assistant, who contacted a nearby Cooper.
Cooper and Shields both appeared in 2008 horror film The Midnight Meat Train, and have been photographed spending time together in the years since.
Once she got to the hospital, Shields said that the doctors “thought my brain was seizing” and had EEGs, catheters and IVs at the ready. “I was stuck. And then they put me into ICU and that’s where I got bronchitis,” she recalled.
Ultimately, Shields said doctors determined that “low sodium” caused the seizure after she consumed “too much water.” She explained, “I drowned myself. And if you don’t have enough sodium in your blood or urine or your body, you can have a seizure.”
Shields also told Glamour that she focuses more on keeping her major organs healthy rather than trying to fit a certain ideal.
“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.”