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Sharon Stone says people were 'brutally unkind' after she suffered a stroke

Stone, who had a stroke in 2001, wants other women to learn the warning signs.
/ Source: TODAY

Sharon Stone had a stroke in 2001 and spent years in recovery, but the actress is now opening up about just how difficult it was keeping her personal and professional life from falling apart.

"People treated me in a way that was brutally unkind," the "Basic Instinct" actress told Variety at a Women's Brain Health Initiative event she hosted in Hollywood Wednesday night.

Stone's life changed in September 2001 when she had a stroke, along with a cerebral hemorrhage that lasted nine days. Stone took a two-year break from acting, but said it took her around seven years to recover.

Women's Brain Health Initiative 100th Anniversary Of Women's Suffrage Gala - Arrivals
Sharon Stone attends the Brain Health Initiative 100th Anniversary Of Women's Suffrage Gala at Eric Buterbaugh Los Angeles on July 17, 2019.Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

It was a tough time for the actress, who was one of the most in-demand movie stars in the world before she was hospitalized. Fighting her way back to work wasn't only a health challenge, but it also caused a financial burden, Stone said.

"I had to remortgage my house. I lost everything I had. I lost my place in the business. I was like the hottest movie star, you know?” she told Variety. “It was like Miss Princess Diana and I were so famous — and she died and I had a stroke. And we were forgotten."

She credits Bernard Arnault, the head of luxury brand group LVMH, for giving her a Dior contract and putting her back on Hollywood's radar.

While Stone is back and looking more fabulous than ever, the actress said she's sharing her story and struggle, because she wants to make sure more women know the signs of a stroke and seek immediate medical attention when they have a really bad headache.

“I didn’t get to the hospital until day three or four of my stroke. Most people die," she said. "I had a 1 percent chance of living by the time I got surgery — and they wouldn’t know for a month if I would live.”

Stone said no one told her at the time just slim the odds were that she would survive. She later found out by reading about it in a magazine.