Sharon Stone Says She Lost $18 Million Fortune Following 2001 Stroke: 'I Had Zero Money'

Sharon Stone reflected on the financial losses she suffered after her near-fatal brain bleed in 2001.

After much loss, Sharon Stone is living "for joy."

The iconic actress, whose fame reached a fever pitch with movies like Basic Instinct and Casino, has also dealt with devastating lows, namely a near-fatal 2001 stroke. In its seven-year wake, she told The Hollywood Reporter, she was left with "zero money."

"I had a death experience and then they brought me back," she describes. "I bled into my brain for nine days, so my brain was shoved to the front of my face. It wasn’t positioned in my head where it was before. And while that was happening, everything changed. My sense of smell, my sight, my touch. I couldn't read for a couple of years. Things were stretched and I was seeing color patterns. A lot of people thought I was going to die."

Amid a near-decade of recovery, her multi-million fortune, according to Stone, dwindled to nothing. 

"People took advantage of me over that time. I had $18 million saved because of all my success, but when I got back into my bank account, it was all gone," she tells THR. "My refrigerator, my phone -- everything was in other people's names."

More than two decades after that life-changing ordeal, Stone lives by a mantra that may resonate with others grappling with obstacles in their own lives. 

"If you bite into the seed of bitterness, it never leaves you. But if you hold faith, even if that faith is the size of a mustard seed, you will survive," she says. "So, I live for joy now. I live for purpose."

Sharon Stone attends The Hollywood Reporter's Raising Our Voices event in 2023. - Robin L Marshall/WireImage

That's not to say getting to this point was easy. While she survived the bleeding, that was just the beginning for Stone as she was left to manage the damage the brain injury had left behind. 

"I was walking, a ragged, tilted walk, my right leg dragging a bit, the left side of my face distorted and low, no feeling from the knee up in my left leg. I was talking, not knowing I was stuttering, not realizing that the walls didn’t really have blocks of colors on them," she described in her 2021 memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice. "I’d lost directional hearing in my right ear and so much weight. I was now a whopping size two, at five feet, eight and a half inches." 

"My right ear was so f’ed up that I had to turn my head to the left and watch people’s lips to understand what they were saying... I had an incomplete sense of what was going on around me... I had lost my short-term memory," Stone added. "...I wouldn’t be able to read for another two years or remember where I’d put down my teacup. But I was up and I was alive."

She was eventually diagnosed and medicated for a brain seizure condition, but side effects would linger for years to come. 

"As I sit here now, nearly two decades later, the right side of my head still hurts. This is where the brain damage is, where the scarring is. My hearing is back, though sometimes I have to turn my head a bit to shut out the sounds that can interfere with what I am trying to hear," she explained in her book.

Nevertheless, true to her philosophy, Stone does not shut out the joy. 

"Now that I am myself again, or this self again," she wrote, "I have a happy house, full of laughter and fun."