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Brooke Shields Breaks Silence On Her Mother’s Death: 'She Had Her Share Of Struggles'

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Nov. 7 2012, Published 3:30 p.m. ET

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By Radar Staff

Brooke Shields has broken her silence about the death of her mother Teri, with whom she had a complicated, and often turbulent relationship over the years.

In a brief statement, the actress, 47, said: "My mother was an enormous part of my life and of who I am today. I loved her, laughed with her, and respected her. And although she had her share of struggles, she was my mom."

As RadarOnline.com previously reported, the elder Shields, who battled alcoholism throughout her life, passed away last Wednesday following a long illness related to dementia. She was 79. (News of Shields’ death was only made public this past Monday.)

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Teri Shields -- a single mom who landed Brooke her first job in a soap advertisement when she was just eleven months old -- often faced criticism for her handling of the star’s early career.

Among Ms. Shields’ controversial decisions -- arranging for a photographer to take nude pictures of her when she was 10, allowing her to play a teenage prostitute in 1978’s Pretty Baby, and allowing her to star in the sexually provocative R-rated film The Blue Lagoon when she was 14. Brooke Shields later testified before a U.S. Congressional inquiry that older body doubles were used in some of her nude scenes.

When Brooke was 15, she appeared in a sexually suggestive Calvin Klein jeans campaign, saying the now infamous line: “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins.” The ad ignited a firestorm once again.

Teri Shields defended her actions over the years, saying she was taken advantage of her daughter’s striking beauty and that her detractors were simply jealous.

In the mid-90s, Brooke fired her mother as her manager, reportedly because Teri didn’t approve of her romance with tennis star Andre Agassi, whom she later married and divorced.

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In recent years, Teri and the Suddenly Susan star apparently reconciled, and Brooke was seen visiting her mother at a nursing home.

Theresa Anna Lillian Schmon was born on Aug. 11, 1933, in Newark, New Jersey. She worked as a hairstylist, a makeup artist for Lord & Taylor and a model, according to a statement from Brooke Shields. She married Francis Alexander Shields in 1964, and Brooke was born the next year.

“It was then that Teri found her career” as her daughter’s manager, Brooke Shields wrote.

Teri Shields and her husband divorced when their daughter was a few months old. Besides Brooke, her survivors include a sister and two granddaughters.

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