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Sharon Stone’s new lament: Paid $13m less than Michael Douglas for ‘Basic Instinct’

Two weeks after Sharon Stone hinted that she lost a great deal of money in the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, the actor revealed Tuesday she was paid only $500,000 for her role in the 1992 erotic thriller “Basic Instinct.”

Meanwhile, Stone said that her co-star Michael Douglas was paid a lot more, according to Page Six.

Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone starred in “Basic Instinct.” (Photo: TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection) 

“Michael Douglas made $14 million,” Stone said to the crowd of mostly female film and TV executives at a gala luncheon for the New York Women In Film & Television’s 43rd annual Muse Awards, Page Six reported.

“Now, I was new. I was new and he was a very big star,” Stone said, according to Page Six.

Yes, at the time Douglas was one of Hollywood’s top box-office draws, after starring in a string of hits, from “Romancing the Stone” to “Fatal Attraction,” “Black Rain” and “Wall Street,” for which he won an Academy Award for best actor.

Stone was mainly known for her breakout role in 1990’s “Total Recall,” with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Starring as the lethally glamorous crime writer Catherine Tramell in “Basic Instinct,” the San Francisco-based crime drama made her an international star.

But being “new” on “Basic Instinct” led to other indignities on the set, Stone revealed. A line producer kept mistakenly referring her to as “Karen” throughout the “entirety of the film,” she said.

“Even at the Governor’s Ball (after the Oscars), he still called me ‘Karen!’ And, I carried that humiliation really deeply within me,” Stone said, according to Page Six.

At the awards luncheon, Stone apparently didn’t go into another humiliation she has said she suffered during the production. In her 2021 memoir, “The Beauty of Living Twice,” Stone claimed she was duped into exposing herself in the infamous police interrogation scene. Wearing a mini-skirt, her character uncrosses her legs to purposely reveal to a room full of excitable male detectives and prosecutors that she’s not wearing any underwear.

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“(I 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,’” Stone explained. “Yes, there have been many points of view on this topic, but since I’m the one with the vagina in question, let me say: The other points of view are (expletive).”

Stone is likely referring to a point of view offered by director Paul Verhoeven in 2016. He said he had discussed the idea of her not wearing underwear in the scene the night before filming, and she was OK with it, according to Yahoo. 

At Tuesday’s luncheon, Stone was one of several honorees, Page Six said. The others included “The Piano Lesson” star Danielle Brooks, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Janet Yang and “Slumdog Millionaire” star Freida Pinto.

Stone has been dishing quite a bit lately at gala events. She rallied attendees at the star-studded Women’s Cancer Research Fund fundraiser two weeks ago by suggesting that she had lost “half” her money in the Silicon Valley Bank Collapse.

“I know that thing that you have to get on and figure out how to text the money is difficult,” a tearful Stone said to the crowd in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel ballroom on March 16. “I’m a technical idiot, but I can write an (expletive) check. And right now, that’s courage, too, because I know what’s happening. I just lost half my money to this banking thing, and that doesn’t mean that I’m not here.”

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Stone, who was accepting the Courage Award from the organization that supports cancer research, didn’t elaborate on the specific “banking thing” that caused her losses, The Hollywood Reporter said.

But Stone’s reference came in the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the resulting volatility in the financial markets. The Santa Clara-based bank, which catered to the tech industry, collapsed on March 10 after suffering from an old-fashioned bank run. Stocks at other banks plummeted, as regulators moved to contain the fallout.

In that speech, Stone also mentioned another recent hardship, presumably to show how she tries to persevere and wants to inspire others to do the same. Her brother, Patrick Stone, died in February at age 57 of heart disease.

“My brother just died, and that doesn’t mean that I’m not here,” Stone said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “This is not an easy time for any of us. This is a hard time in the world. … So stand up. Stand up and say what you’re worth. I dare you. That’s what courage is.”

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