Sharon Stone Says She Lost $18 Million in Savings After Her 2001 Stroke: 'I Had Zero Money'

The actress said instead of feeling “bitter” about all the negative things she experienced following her stroke, she chooses to focus on the positive

<p>Michael Kovac/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty</p> Sharon Stone in May 2023

Michael Kovac/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty

Sharon Stone in May 2023

Sharon Stone is getting candid about her mindset following her 2001 stroke.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Tuesday, July 9, the Basic Instinct actress, 66, opened up about how the stroke — which led to a nine-day brain bleed and made her step away from Hollywood — changed the way she thinks.

“A Buddhist monk told me that I had been reincarnated into my same body,” Stone recalled. “I had a death experience and then they brought me back. 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,” she explained. “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.”

Related: Sharon Stone Explains Why She Calls Her Fame 'Barney the Purple Elephant': 'It Can Be Embarrassing'

Stone said that also led to people taking “advantage” of her “over that time,” and she quickly lost millions of dollars that she had saved up in her bank account, along with other personal items.

“I had $18 million saved because of all my success, but when I got back into my bank account, it was all gone. My refrigerator, my phone — everything was in other people’s names,” Stone shared. “I had zero money.”

<p>Toni Anne Barson Archive/WireImage</p> Sharon Stone in 2002

Toni Anne Barson Archive/WireImage

Sharon Stone in 2002

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Instead of feeling “bitter” about all the negative things she experienced, Stone said she chooses to focus on the positive — and that’s what keeps her going to this day.

“I decided to stay present and let go,” she admitted. “I decided not to hang onto being sick or to any bitterness or anger. 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.”

“So, I live for joy now,” she added. “I live for purpose.”

Related: Sharon Stone Says She Was Dropped by Hollywood for 20 Years After Her Stroke: 'I Was a Very Big Movie Star'

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The What About Love actress previously shared in an interview with PEOPLE that in the early stages of recovery from the stroke and brain hemorrhage, she could not see correctly and suffered memory loss. She would also get “weird knuckle-like knots” all over the top of her head, which she compared to the feeling of being “punched," Stone said.

Last year, Stone told Vogue that she initially “hid” her disability. “[I] was afraid to go out and didn’t want people to know,” she said. “I just thought no one would accept me.”

However, that has changed with time, as Stone told PEOPLE that she's "become more comfortable with publicly saying what's really happened to me,” adding, “For a long time I wanted to pretend that I was just fine.”

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