Andre Agassi's Attitude After Divorce Shocked Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields and Andre Agassi were married from 1997 to 1999. Four years before their wedding, the actor and the tennis legend connected at a tennis game,  and things heated up when they sent love letters to each other via fax. Shields and Agassi had common ground since they both had parents who had pushed them into their careers. Shields also liked that her relationship with Agassi helped put some distance between her and her mother.  The actor was charmed by Agassi's sense of humor and the way he'd help her out whenever she had a problem. 

Once they got married, Shields and Agassi's relationship deteriorated quickly, as they focused on their separate lives and careers. Even before their wedding, there was a red flag when Agassi watched Shields make an iconic guest appearance on "Friends." Shields embraced the comedy of her role with a distinctive laugh while she licked Matt LeBlanc's fingers. Agassi was so enraged by her performance that he destroyed his tennis trophies. 

Shortly before their marriage ended, Agassi divulged to his wife that he been addicted to crystal meth. Shields was perplexed that he had kept this secret from her and wanted to seek couples counseling, but Agassi wasn't interested. In Agassi's 2009 memoir, "Open," ghostwritten by J. R. Moehringer, the former tennis star asked his ex-wife to look over parts of the book that talked about their marriage. At first, Shields was gratified to be included. However, she was dismayed when Agassi disregarded all her suggestions.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Andre Agassi may never have intended to use Brooke Shields' input

Since their 1999 divorce wasn't acrimonious, Brooke Shields hoped she and Andre Agassi would still remain in contact. However, that wasn't Agassi's style, so Shields didn't hear from him until he was working on "Open." Agassi indicated that Shields' diaries might be helpful in fact-checking the memoir. The actor made numerous changes after spending five hours with J. R. Moehringer, Agassi's ghostwriter. "Everything was just off," she recalled on the podcast "WTF." According to Shields, she got a letter in response where Agassi said, "I couldn't change any of the things that you corrected because that's not how I remember it and it is my book."

In particular, Shields found errors in the order of events. One point on which the two ex-spouses differed was the timing of Agassi's addiction. While "Open," claims that Agassi took crystal meth in 1997, Shields asserts that he was using the drug when he reacted violently during her "Friends" appearance in 1996. 

After consulting with her editor, Shields learned asking for her input may have been a ruse, as it implied Shields agreed with the book's contents. According to The New York Times review of "Open," Shields is portrayed negatively and unsupportive of Agassi's career. However, Shields took a more sanguine view of the book. "I did not come across as badly as people might have thought that he wanted," Shields explained on "Watch What Happens Live," (via ET). "You kind of feel for me more."

Brooke Shields told her side of the story in her memoir

Brooke Shields has commented on a key difference between "Open" and her own books: she does her writing herself, without the help of a ghostwriter. The distinction is important to Shields. In 1985, she wrote the first chapter of "On Your Own," before the remainder of the book was ghostwritten. The tone of the ghostwriter's writing was completely different, and the subject matter veered away from Shields' experiences. 

Although she couldn't change the specifics of "Open," Shields wrote about her marriage to Andre Agassi in her 2014 memoir, "There Was a Little Girl." While she characterized her decision to marry Agassi as an error of judgment,  she also acknowledged the positives of their relationship. "He welcomed me and my mother and anybody I loved. He is a really good human being," Shields wrote, per People. When she discussed Agassi's crystal meth use, she noted that she would have supported him, drawing on her experiences with her mother's addiction to alcohol.

While the actor and writer thinks the title of "Open" is somewhat ironic,  Shields is candid about tragic events in her life, both in her memoir and in her 2023 documentary "Pretty Baby." In the film, Shields mentions that she and Agassi have not interacted since she was contacted about his memoir. "I don't know if he does that much reflection on things," Shields observed (via Hello!). "People process things very, very differently, and I have come to respect that.”