We’ve all done things we regret. Making mistakes when you’re young is as much a part of your youth as your first kiss, your first drink and acne.
Unfortunately, when you’re a high-profile actor, things you did in the past tend to have a habit of coming back to haunt you.
Posing topless isn’t necessarily anything to regret, if you agree to do it, some people make a living from it after all. But making that decision when you’re a 17-year-old who stars on a wholesome, family-friendly TV programme which broadcasts all over America? It’s bound to raise a few eyebrows.
Jessica Biel played the daughter of a minister on the show 7th Heaven, a long-running series which followed the Camden family, with Protestant minister, Reverend Eric Camden, as the family patriarch.
As Metro reports, Biel, who was then just 17, posed topless for Gear magazine, with the photoshoot being released on the day of her 18th birthday – and while she still played the character of Mary Camden on 7th Heaven.
The actor, now 36, recently revealed she had to apologise to the show’s executive producer, Aaron Spelling, for the photoshoot.
Speaking on E!‘s Awards Chatter podcast, Biel said:
I certainly had to apologise to Aaron Spelling. I think my entire crew and cast were, needless to say, shocked.
The worst part was I had to go back to work. The [magazine] comes out and I literally had to go back to work that next morning. Everybody was… they didn’t know if they should look me in the eye and I was just a mess.
I didn’t… you’re young. You don’t mean to hurt people. You don’t mean to do this.
Check out the cover shot here:
Despite the photoshoot quickly becoming well-publicised, Biel insists it wasn’t a ‘calculated move’ to raise her profile as an actor:
I think I was 17, I’m a woman now, I’m a grown up now. I’m sexy, y’know, this type of vibe and honestly it just went a little awry.
It definitely never was meant to be some shocking, exposing situation and whether it was my own sort of ability to try to be my own person by myself, y’know, confident woman.
I said yes to things that probably I should’ve said no to. It was just one of those things that got out of hand.
Check her out in action below:
Biel starred in the first six series of the show, from 1997 to 2002, as well as making appearances in season seven, eight and ten.
The photoshoot didn’t seem to do any harm to the show, as 7th Heaven went on to become the longest-running family drama in television history.
Since then, Biel has starred in numerous film and TV hits, from Blade: Trinity to I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry, to big-budget remakes of The A-Team and Total Recall, as well as, most recently, crime thriller The Sinner, which, thanks to its slow-building success, has been renewed for a second season.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.