Who is Paul Verhoeven? Sharon Stone SLAPPED 'Basic Instinct' director after he told her to take off underwear

Stone spoke out about her infamous leg-crossing scene in her new memoir, where she also said how a producer asked her to 'f**k' her male co-star


                            Who is Paul Verhoeven? Sharon Stone SLAPPED 'Basic Instinct' director after he told her to take off underwear
In her newly released memoir 'The Beauty of Living Twice', Sharon Stone claims she slapped director Paul Verhoeven after the first time she watched the filmed scene (Getty Images, Amazon Prime Video)
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Three decades after the release of 'Basic Instinct', leading lady Sharon Stone spoke out about the untold reality behind her famous leg-crossing scene in the movie. In her newly released memoir 'The Beauty of Living Twice', Stone opened up about shocking behind-the-scenes incidents involving the iconic scene. Apparently, she slapped director Paul Verhoeven the first time she watched the filmed scene, in a room full of agents and lawyers. She claims that the Dutch director tricked her into removing her underwear for the scene, after reassuring her that they could not see anything.

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In another excerpt from the memoir, Stone also alleged that a producer once told her to sleep with her male co-star to develop the "onscreen chemistry". However, her shocking revelation about Paul Verhoeven has surprised fans across the world. Verhoeven's representatives have declined to comment on the matter. 

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Sharon Stone was 'tricked' into removing panties for Basic Instinct scene, told to 'f**k co-star for chemistry'

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Paul Verhoeven (Getty Images)

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Who is Paul Verhoeven?

82-year-old Paul Verhoeven is an award-winning Dutch director, producer and screenwriter who works across the cinematic spectrum in Hollywood and Netherlands. He is well-reckoned for his popular hits like 'Basic Instinct', 'Total Recall', 'RoboCop' 'Showgirls', 'Starship Troopers', 'Hollow Man', 'Black Book' and 'Elle', as well as his Dutch classics like 'Turkish Delight', 'Keetje Tippel', 'Spetters' and 'Soldier of Orange'. 

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Most of Verhoeven's films are recognized for his vivid amalgamation of graphic violence and sexuality, with hints of social satire. He has been involved primarily in drama and sci-fi genres. Verhoeven is the recipient of a Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Language Film for his movie 'Elle' starring Isabelle Huppert. In 1987, he also won the Saturn Award for Best Director for 'Robocop'. At the same time, he was one among the very few individuals to personally accept their Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture and Worst Director for the 1995 movie 'Showgirls'. 

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Director Paul Verhoeven (R) and actress Isabelle Huppert attend the 2016 Cannes Film Festival (Getty Images)

Born in Amsterdam on July 18, 1938, Verhoeven survived the brutalities of World War II as a small child. He later mentioned in his interviews how he still remembers the violence, dead bodies, and burning houses that marked his growing years. 

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Verhoeven attended the Gymnasium Haganum public school, where his father was the headteacher. He later pursued a Masters degree with a double major in Mathematics and Physics from Leiden University. His passion for films developed at an early age when he and his father would watch informative films at home with the school's film projector. Later, during his university days, he also attended classes at the Netherlands Film Academy. 

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Verhoeven's debut film was 'Één hagedis teveel' ("One Lizard Too Many") in 1960, made for the students' corps, which was followed by three short films. His first feature film 'Business Is Business' happened in 1971 but it failed to capture the box office. His success came with the 1973 hit 'Turkish Delight', which even earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. His later movie 'Soldier of Orange' earned a Golden Globe nomination, while his 1975 movie 'Katie Tippel' was well-received. 

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Verhoeven's Hollywood debut happened in 1985 with 'Flesh and Blood' starring Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh. His filmmaking style underwent a change in Hollywood as he opted for a violent, special-effects-heavy approach in 'Robocop' and 'Total Recall'. Both these movies won an Academy Special Achievement Award. 

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His 1992 erotic thriller 'Basic Instinct' became the ninth highest-grossing film of the year, and has now become an iconic movie, especially for Sharon Stone's controversial leg-crossing scene. Verhoeven returned to the Netherlands in 2006 after about two decades of working in Hollywood. 
In his personal life, he is married to Martine Tours and shares two daughters with her. 

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Paul Verhoeven (Getty Images)

What went wrong during the 'Basic Instinct' scene?

In the now-legendary leg-crossing scene from 'Basic Instinct', Sharon Stone can be seen crossing and uncrossing her legs during a police interrogation, when her private area becomes clearly visible momentarily. 

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However, as it appears now, Stone was not entirely aware about the reality when the scene was being shot. She was told - "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." But, after she performed the scene without her underwear, she was not aware of the exact nature of the shot, until she sat down for the screening much later. "That was how I saw my vagina-shot for the first time," Stone reveals, adding how she saw the scene in a room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom were unrelated to the project.

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Immediately, a shocked and alarmed Stone headed up to the projection booth and slapped Paul Verhoeven across the face. After that, she left, went to her car, and called her lawyer. Eventually, Stone allowed the scene to be kept in the film because she felt it was "correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it."

Though Verhoeven remained unavailable for comments today, a Twitter user shared that he had previously accused Stone of lying in 2017. 

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"The film's director, Paul Verhoeven, has previously denied that he exploited Stone in the scene. "Sharon is lying," he told ICON in 2017. "Any actress knows what she’s going to see if you ask her to take off her underwear and point there with the camera," read the tweet.


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