I don’t know what I just read. Or, rather, I know what I read—it was a piece in the New York Post by Richard Johnson called “Inside Sharon Stone’s secret car obsession”—I just don’t know what any of what I read means. Though its headline suggested I would be taken behind one of Sharon Stone’s many curtains (I assume they’re all of the blackout variety) for a peek at a hidden truth, I was left feeling as though I learned nothing apart from the fact that she doesn’t like being spoken to without “integrity”—which is something I could have guessed.
The first line, “Buyer beware!” sets things off with an accusatory tone. We don’t know who’s buying what, but we know they should watch the hell out. “There seems to be an assembly line for vintage vehicles being auctioned off as ‘Sharon Stone’s car,’” continues Johnson. Why is “Sharon Stone’s car” in quotes, you ask? I have no idea! Johnson provides no evidence that suggests we should question whether or not the cars actually belonged to Stone. On the contrary, he writes that Stone has donated at least seven cars to charity, and that her home contains a covered garage for 14. That sounds like a “car obsession” for sure!
But then, without providing any further details about the interaction, Johnson writes:
Stone angrily told me, “You can’t say they didn’t belong to me. I had titles on all those cars from my car collection.”
What did he ask her? Why is Stone so angry? When did this conversation take place? Where even are they? He doesn’t answer any of those questions, but does end the piece with this:
When I suggested that Stone should be happy to talk about her car collecting, she snapped, “This is not how you approach me for a story. The next time you approach me for a story, do it with integrity.”
Though I was told (via a headline) that Johnson’s story would take me “inside” Sharon Stone’s “secret car obsession,” reading it did nothing but push me further and further outside it. And, after a second pass, my consciousness was suddenly thrust outside of myself—regarding my pale, lifeless body with profound confusion as it stared at a curtain labeled “Sharon Stone’s secret car obsession,” both desperate and unprepared for the truths behind it.
I needed help (a familiar feeling) so I reached out to Johnson and asked for some. “Are you suggesting that Stone is not the owner of the cars she’s auctioning off, or something else,” I wrote.
Within minutes, he responded:
My suggestion is that she didn’t really drive all these cars. She got them just so she could donate them.
And with that, my confusion grew. Does one need to drive a car to be considered its owner? Isn’t a car collection—like any collection—more about the owning and preserving of the object as opposed to making use of its intended function? Does “got them” imply she didn’t buy them, but was instead “given” them for free? And, if so, does that lessen (or even fully negate) the charitable nature of her donations?
After replying to Johnson with some follow-up questions (as well as emailing Stone’s publicist a request for comment that I assume will be ignored) I discovered that Stone has worked with Barrett-Jackson, a company that organizes “the world’s greatest collector car auctions,” in the past.
Last year, Stone acted as a celebrity auctioneer at a Barrett-Jackson event, and watching a video of her appearance sent me to space.
“This is for a good cause, we’ve got a good cause going here. It’s to, for colon cancer,” she tells the crowd of eager car buyers at a 2015 Barrett-Jackson event. “This disease goes in, and it is available internationally.”
Help me, Sharon Stone. I don’t know where I am.
Images via Getty/screengrab.