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Sharon Stone lost $18 million after 2001 stroke: ‘People took advantage of me’


Sharon Stone is reliving a painful moment in time. 

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the iconic actress – who rose to fame in the 1990s with breakthrough roles in “Basic Instinct” and “Casino” – detailed the financial strain she endured after suffering a stroke in 2001.

“I had $18 million saved because of all my success, but when I got back into my bank account, it was all gone,” said Stone, who revealed people took “advantage” of her in her weakest moments because they “thought [she] was going to die.” “My refrigerator, my phone – everything was in other people’s names. I had zero money.”

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Sharon Stone says people “took advantage” of her after she suffered a stroke in 2001. (Cindy Ord/VF23/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Despite the major setback, Stone said she chose to move forward. 

“I decided to stay present and let go,” she said. “I decided not to hang onto being sick or to any bitterness or anger. If you bite into the seed of bitterness, it never leaves you. But if you hold faith, even if that faith is the size of a mustard seed, you will survive.” 

“So, I live for joy now,” she added. “I live for purpose.”

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Sharon Stone soft smiles on the red carpet at The Hollywood Reporter Raising Our Voices DEIA Luncheon wearing a red suit with a large flower on the shoulder

The actress says she lost $18 million after having a stroke. (Michael Kovac/The Hollywood Reporter)

During an appearance on U.K.’s “Good Morning Britain” in May, Stone spoke about how her career significantly pivoted from acting to activism after suffering the “near-death experience” over 20 years ago. 

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“I went to the first hospital and had an MRI and had this near-death experience and then was transferred to a specialized hospital. I continued to bleed into my brain for nine days before my best friend convinced [the doctors] to look again,” she said. “Thank God they did, because they realized what was going on and how it had happened and were able to repair it at the last moment.”

Sharon Stone

Stone has previously opened up about her stroke impacted her career. (Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb )

“It was really one of those beautiful miracles,” she added. “Of course I’m a different person. I have an invisible disability. People can help you when they see you are walking with crutches, but when you are having a bit of a problem with brain function, people don’t know that you need help with that.”

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The actress, who has now spent over 20 years as an activist for the World Health Organization, said her first step of recovery lasted about “seven years.”

“That’s a long time to lose your momentum,” she said. 

A photo of Sharon Stone

The actress now focuses on her activism and painting. (Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

“In seven years, you’re no longer the flavor of the time, you no longer have box office heat, the same people you were working with are no longer in power anymore,” she added. “Everything changes and people don’t really care about that person anymore. It’s like going back to your old job seven years later… you don’t just walk back into your job and think nothing’s changed.”

“I was sort of hurt that the world moved on without me,” she admitted. “But I’ve kind of gotten over it now.”

Speaking on “Sunday Today with Willie Geist” in 2021, Stone, who is now a dedicated artist and painter, said she has found peace with her life. 

Sharon Stone at "Forever Young" screening

Stone says she chooses to remain positive despite her setbacks.  (Gisela Schober/Getty Images)

“I’m in a really grateful place,” she said. “When I was a kid, I always wanted to have a house full of kids running and screaming and dogs, and I got it. And I feel very blessed and happy about the life I got. We’re happy together, and what’s better than that?”

“There’s nothing more free than standing centered in yourself,” Stone added. “I tell my friends that my new mantra is, ‘It’s never too late to become yourself.’”

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