The actress said Cain was "so loyal and loving and just so in love," yet she "did not make it easy."
Brooke Shields is reflecting on her past romance with her college boyfriend, Dean Cain.
In an interview with People for its latest cover story, the actress -- who is promoting her upcoming Hulu documentary, "Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields," -- got candid about dating the "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" star back when they were both students at Princeton University.
Looking back, Shields said she and Cain had a "great relationship," calling her ex "beautiful" and "mouthwatering." However, she admitted that her past as a child actress later impacted their relationship.
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After Shields starred in films like "Pretty Baby" and "The Blue Lagoon," she said she was frequently asked about her appearance and her personal life, joking that she was "the most famous virgin in the world." (Shields previously revealed that she lost her virginity to Cain when she was 22.)
But being oversexualized as a child star ultimately resulted in the 57-year-old not being fully present in her relationship with Cain, with Shields telling People that she felt disconnected from herself.
"We had a great relationship, broke up, got back together again after three years," she told the magazine. "And that should have been a delicious time for me of reveling in it and feeling proud and free because I was in love."
"But 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 one thing," she explained, adding that Cain, 56, was "so loyal and loving and just so in love," yet she "did not make it easy."
The "Endless Love" star revealed that she reached out to Cain "a few years back" and "apologized" for not fully cherishing their relationship at the time.
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"I said, 'I'm sorry for you, and I'm really sorry for me,'" she told People.
Shields -- who shares daughters Rowan, 19, and Grier, 16, with husband Chris Henchy -- went on to share that she doesn't want her kids to feel ashamed like she did.
"I want them to feel celebrated rather than shamed -- shamed by their body, shamed by their sexuality," she said, admitting that "it's such a burden to carry."
Shields' upcoming documentary, "Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields," is described as "a galvanizing look at actor, model and icon Brooke Shields as she transforms from a sexualized young girl to a woman discovering her power," per ABC News Studios.
According to a press release, the two-part documentary, which premieres on Hulu next month, "follows Shields through her extraordinary childhood and complex relationship with her mother and manager, Teri Shields."
"Holding a mirror up to a society that objectifies women and girls, her story shows the perils and triumphs of gaining agency in a hostile world," the synopsis reads.
"Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields" premieres on Hulu on April 3.