What Brooke Shields' Exes Have Said About Her

You know you're doing well when your exes have nothing but great things to say about you. Such is the case with Brooke Shields, whose past partners almost always rave about her. Shields famously had a complicated relationship with her mother — some might even say it was toxic — but her romantic interactions have been pretty healthy and happy overall, with a couple of exceptions.

There are many things Brooke Shields has revealed over the years that are both shocking and heartbreaking. She told The New Yorker in March 2023 that she'd never experienced what most would consider a normal childhood, as she'd never had time to play or make friends. "I only knew working, and I only knew school and jobs," she admitted. Her mother, Teri Shields, micromanaged Brooke's life to a suffocating degree. She was such a controlling figure that Brooke told The Guardian in September 2017, "I was in a cocoon with my mom. You know, we were one summer away from Grey Gardens."

Teri also presided over her daughter's love life. Desperate for publicity, Teri engineered several fake relationships with famous figures, such as Scott Baio and Michael Jackson. "She didn't focus on romance (let alone love) but instead wanted to associate me with names that connoted fame, money, and power," Brooke wrote in "There Was a Little Girl," her 2014 autobiography. "They were all on Teen Beat magazines and stars in their own right," she explained. But arranged dates aside, what have Brooke's real-life exes said about her?

John Travolta thinks Brooke Shields exudes goodness

Like many of her early dalliances, Brooke Shields and John Travolta's relationship didn't start by choice. It was another Teri Shields special, orchestrated to gain more headlines for her daughter. Brooke was 16 and Travolta 27 when her mom squeezed him in between "fake" boyfriends Scott Baio and Michael Jackson.

But for once, it wasn't actually Teri who initiated the setup. According to The Washington Post, Travolta called Teri to ask if he could take Brooke out, and even though she wasn't usually allowed to "date," the momager immediately spotted a publicity opportunity. Brooke's movie "Endless Love" had recently been released, as had Travolta's "Blow Out" so it was a PR match made in heaven. Still, it all remained very innocent. On their first date, Travolta picked Brooke up from school — kind of creepy — took her to dinner, then delivered her home at 7:10 pm so she could study for a big test.

Although it was an arranged romance, the couple developed genuine feelings for each other. Brooke's first ex has said nothing but wonderful things about her. "There are lots of women with physical beauty," Travolta told People in August 1981. "But Brooke exudes goodness. She's untainted. You don't want anyone to hurt her or say the wrong things because she's special." Despite their mutual affection and attraction, Brooke maintained her chaste image as the relationship with Travolta never moved past the platonic stage.

Dean Cain says Brooke Shields is wonderful

John Travolta was Brooke Sheild's first real boyfriend, but Dean Cain was her first real love. They met at Princeton where she studied Romance languages, and he took history. After dating for two years, Brooke felt ready to go to home base. It was a significant step considering Teri Shields demanded that her daughter remain virgo intacta, or "the most famous virgin in the world," as Brooke told People in 2023.

Brooke said Cain was an amazing boyfriend. "He just was so loyal and loving," she remarked. Still, everything imploded after they had sex due to feeling guilty over her mom. "I got so overwhelmed that I jumped out of my bed," she wrote in "There Was a Little Girl," admitting she freaked out and ran away naked. "It was as if I was just paralyzed from shame, thinking everybody was going to know, thinking of letting my fans down because I had professed [to being a virgin]," she explained. Brooke later apologized to Cain, "I said, 'I'm sorry for you, and I'm really sorry for me.'" 

He couldn't have been more understanding and sweet. "I think she felt the weight of the world and everybody watching her, and that was from her mother, and I think that's one of those things that was very tough for her," Cain told Meredith Viera in 2014. "We truly had a wonderful relationship; we were two young people, and we cared for each other. She's a wonderful person."

Liam Neeson thinks Brooke Shields is fantastic

Brooke Shields moved on to Liam Neeson after splitting with Dean Cain. "He was a tall Irish actor and a drunk who was 13 years my senior," she wrote of Neeson in "There Was a Little Girl," admitting she fell for "his brogue, his poetry, and his sh*** choice of cheap pinot grigio wine." Things got hot and heavy, fast and furious, with Neeson proposing after three months — although the old romantic didn't bother buying a ring for the special moment.

Meanwhile, Brooke's mom, Teri Shields, managed to insert herself into the situation, of course. "'Watch: When you get married, you probably won't invite me,'" Brooke recalled her complaining. Teri needn't have worried, though, because, in the end, nobody was invited, as Neeson ghosted Brooke pretty much as soon as she said yes. She wrote in her memoir that after a lovely Christmas together, Neeson flew to LA to "check on a basement flood in his home," and then ... crickets. "He was there one minute and gone the next," Brooke told The Times in 2014.

However, just like that, Neeson returned for a second round. "He came back after the first time he left me and asked me to marry him again," she told People in 2014. "I'm not going to deny it. I actually don't really remember," Neeson told Andy Cohen in 2019 (via AOL). He admitted he hadn't spoken to Brooke for years but said she's "a great lady and a fantastic girl."

Andre Agassi is the exception to Brooke Shield's exes

Unlike Brooke Shields' other exes, Andre Agassi is not one for compliments. Shields realized she shouldn't have married the tennis star immediately after they'd swapped vows. "I kept shaking my head as if I had duct tape across my mouth," she wrote in "There Was a Little Girl," admitting, "I knew I had made a mistake. I did not want to be married." Their two-year union was as tempestuous as Agassi's on-court behavior and over as fast as his serve. Brooke claimed he was cold and volatile. Still, life with her mother, Teri Shields, made her dispassionate to mistreatment. "It felt hateful at times, but I waited it out," Brooke wrote of Agassi. "Navigating someone else's moods was a task I knew all too well. This would be a piece of cake. I almost liked it, quite honestly. It was familiar."

Still, Brooke has no regrets, mainly because Agassi helped her build boundaries to protect herself from her mother's toxic behavior. "He gave me my first taste of freedom from my mom. He swept me away. You'd say something, and it would happen," she told People in 2014. Meanwhile, Agassi rarely talks about Brooke but admits that he also had doubts about their relationship. "I think timing is really important; you need a marriage, two people that understand themselves before you can start to figure out how life is going to work out together," he shared on the "Today Show," admitting he'd been far from ready to marry anybody back then.