Inside the VERY reclusive world of Kim Basinger: As actress gets set to step back into the spotlight, FEMAIL lays bare the truth behind her Hollywood retreat – revealing how battle with agoraphobia drove her off the red carpet to be housebound for YEARS
- The 69-year-old actress has previously spoke out about her agoraphobia battle
- She said in 2022 that she ‘wouldn’t leave the house’ and ‘wouldn’t go to dinner’
- Basinger is also an active animal rights activist and a doting mother to Ireland
Kim Basinger was once the toast of Hollywood, the star on which every spotlight focused its bright beam – yet it has been years since the once-iconic screen siren has ventured out onto the red carpet at a major event.
In fact, her public appearances have become such a rare occurrence that when news broke the actress was planning to attend a glitzy LA gala for Last Chance For Animals on October 14, it made headlines the world over.
The 69-year-old Hollywood beauty has lived a relatively reclusive life in the past several years, keeping under the radar while quietly championing animal rights causes close to her heart and being a doting mother to daughter Ireland Baldwin.
It’s very different world from the one she once ruled as a screen siren who starred in a string of 80s hits like the James Bond movie Never Say Never opposite Sean Connery and the erotic drama 9½ Weeks with Mickey Rourke.
Basinger also won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1998 for her role in L.A. Confidential.
Kim Basinger runs errands in Hollywood on Friday after it was reported she would be making a red-carpet comeback next month
Basinger lived a high-profile life in the 1980s and 1990s. She earned an Oscar in 1998 for her role in L.A. Confidential (pictured with her Academy Award)
She’s also kept her starring roles to a minimum, picking up a number of voice roles over the years and most notably playing the role of Elena Lincoln – the love rival of Fifty Shades protagonist Anastasia Steel. Basinger pictured here in the 2017 with Jamie Dornan
What also kept her in the spotlight was her marriage to fellow actor and 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin — the couple shares daughter Ireland, now 27, and were married from 1993 to 2002.
But she’s shied away from the public over the years and opened up in 2022 about her years of suffering from agoraphobia – an anxiety disorder that left her housebound.
It ‘involves fearing and avoiding places or situations that might cause panic and feelings of being trapped, helpless or embarrassed,’ according to the Mayo Clinic. About two per cent of adults and teenagers in the US have the disorder.
In Basinger’s case, she said she had to ‘relearn how to drive’ and ‘would no longer go to dinner.’
She’s also kept her starring roles to a minimum, picking up a number of voice roles over the years and most notably playing the role of Elena Lincoln – the love rival of Fifty Shades protagonist Anastasia Steel (Dakota Johnson) – in 2017.
Previously the actress has also described herself as ‘excruciatingly shy.’
Speaking of her time shooting, the Mary Jane’s Last Dance music video with Tom Petty, Basinger told Vulture in 2021: ‘I’m not gregarious. I was more introverted than he expected, I think, so to have two excruciatingly shy people not say many words to each other was a rather interesting way to start the day off.’
As the actress prepares to walk the red carpet for the first time in four years, FEMAIL reveals what the 8 Mile star has been up to since keeping out of the public eye.
‘Everything made me nervous’: Kim spoke out about her agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder that caused her to fear leaving the house, on Red Table Talk
In 2022, the Fifty Shades actress opened up about her agoraphobia on Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith.
Basinger appeared on the talk show with daughter Ireland, revealing that she battled the condition for years not knowing what it was.
‘I wouldn’t leave the house, I wouldn’t go to dinner…’ Basinger said at the time.
Basinger described living with agoraphobia as ‘like something just completely shuts down within you and you have to relearn everything.’
‘I had to relearn to drive, and for many years I would not go through the tunnels at Malibu, she said.
In 2022, the Fifty Shades actress opened up about her agoraphobia on Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith
She appeared alongside her daughter, Ireland Baldwin, as the pair spoke about their anxiety. Basinger revealed she had to ‘relearn’ how to drive due to her disorder
The screen siren starred in a string of 80s hits like the James Bond movie Never Say Never opposite Sean Connery (pictured in 1983) and the erotic drama 9½ Weeks with Mickey Rourke
‘Everything used to make me nervous, like the glass [sliding] to open the door, or, “Where do I step to open the door?” Everything became a big job to figure out how to do it.’
She added: ‘You live with a dry mouth all the time, you’re very shaky, you’re just so exhausted all the time.’
Basinger also recalled an incident where she was at her local grocery store one time and she felt like she ‘couldn’t breathe,’ so she left her basket and drove home.
It would be the last time she would get behind the wheel in ‘almost six, seven months.’
The actress was treated for the disorder for six months and gushed about how her daughter ‘brought me out of my shell,’ according to The Hollywood Reporter.
She’s an activist! The 8 Mile actress is a vocal animal rights advocate, urging people to adopt shelter dogs on her Instagram
The organization that’s coaxed Basinger out of her low-key lifestyle is Last Chance For Animals (LCA), a non-profit that fights against the exploitation of animals that was started by Hollywood actor Chris DeRose in 1984.
LCA will be holding its annual gala on October 14, the same event in 2019 that honored her with their Albert Schweitzer Award for ‘her work in making the world a better place for animals.’
In 2021, she was the face of a documentary that aimed to stop South Korea’s ‘cruel dog meat industry,’ a joint initiative by LCA and the Animal Liberation Wave.
The four-minute short charts an undercover investigation carried out by the two organizations from October 2020 to May 2021, capturing footage at Moran Market, known as ‘the mecca of dog meat.’
Basinger is also an active animal rights advocate. In 2021, she leant her star power to their campaign to stop the dog meat trade in South Korea
Basinger is seen with DeRose holding up mock dog meat during a rally against the practice in Seoul, South Korea, in 2019
The documentary was pieced together from videos shot at auctions, farms, markets and slaughterhouses – allegedly showing some of harrowing conditions the dogs lived in, crammed in small cages and eating rotten food.
In 2019, she also joined protesters who were rallying against the dog meat trade outside South Korea’s Parliament in Seoul.
‘I do think that government is going to have to not turn a blind eye and really come up with solutions like this,’ she told CNN at the time.
‘South Korea is going to be the leader for this, it’s going to be known for this and it’s going to trickle down.’
Basinger also constantly posts on social media about dogs at animal shelters who are in desperate need of new homes.
One of her recent Instagram posts tells the story of Abe who needed to be rescued or fostered as he faced being euthanized.
Basinger later shared that Abe had been saved before the deadline.
In March 2022, she also posted about her appreciation for the people and organizations who had been helping rescue animals from Ukraine.
She also posts constantly about dogs housed in animal shelters who need a new home
Another recent post from her Instagram that raises awareness of dogs who need to be rescued from shelters
‘To all the groups and organizations across the world, including @petadeutschland , @uanimals.official and @hsiglobal… to those who have been working tirelessly, gathering as many dogs, cats and other animals from warzones…,’ Basinger wrote.
‘Safely transporting them across borders, providing veterinary care, shelter and food… helping to eliminate the stress and emotional angst these people are facing being separated from their animals and striving day and night, with such fierce determination, to reunite these lost pets with their families.
‘Your bravery and dedication in this atrocious situation have surpassed any expectations of such miracles happening.
‘And to all the countries who have opened their borders to refugees and their pets, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.’
Doting mom makes rare appearance at daughter Ireland’s stripper-themed baby shower where she ‘hid in the corner’ drinking wine
Earlier this year in March, Basinger made an appearance at Hollywood strip club Jumbo’s Clown Room to celebrate her daughter’s baby shower.
The actress joined the star-studded affair with the likes of Rumer Willis, Hilary Duff and Sailor Brinkley-Cook to celebrate Ireland’s pregnancy.
Basinger was accompanied by her longtime hairstylist boyfriend, Mitch Stone.
Following the baby shower, Ireland told High Low With EmRata that her mother was usually pretty open-minded, but she was ‘totally mortified’ by the party.
Earlier this year in March, Basinger made an appearance at Hollywood strip club Jumbo’s Clown Room to celebrate her daughter’s baby shower
Following the baby shower, Ireland told High Low With EmRata that her mother was usually pretty open-minded, but she was ‘totally mortified’ by the party
‘She watched me and my boyfriend get lap dances from eight strippers on the stage and I think she was just like, “What is happening right now?”‘ the mom-to-be said.
Ireland also revealed Basinger ‘didn’t even know what to do with the money.’
‘First of all she threw a crumpled dollar bill as fast and as hard as she could, she just yanked it because she was so scared,’ the 27-year-old model said.
‘She just hid in a corner and she just ordered Pinot Grigio at the bar… with ice.’
Basinger also appears to be a constant supporter of her daughter.
Basinger shares daughter Ireland with ex-husband Alec Baldwin. The pair are pictured here at the 1998 Golden Globe Awards
Basinger also appears to be a constant supporter for her daughter, posting this underneath a post where Ireland revealed ‘life has been really hard lately’
In a post earlier this month, new mom Ireland posted that ‘life has been really hard lately, but life is less hard when you have the goodest boi (sic),’ with a photo of her dog.
Kim showed her daughter some love with a sweet message: ‘Like I always told you… all will truly be ok in the end… AND ALL WILL… YOU CAN COUNT ON IT….
‘LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH … And sooooooooo proud of you and Andre… for the parents you are and becoming… And for keeping all the balls tossing up in all the other areas both personally and professionally in your lives… No… Life is not easy… And challenges are tough sometimes… But many times they disguise themselves and will present themselves as gifts at a later date… You will see….
‘So many good times up ahead….’
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