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Kim Basinger opens up about agoraphobia and relearning to drive on ‘Red Table Talk’

By Scottie Andrew, CNN

Kim Basinger — sitting for an interview for the first time in more than a decade — discussed the severe anxiety she struggled with that kept her from leaving her house, during an appearance on “Red Table Talk.”

Appearing alongside her daughter, Ireland Baldwin, Basinger said she had to relearn to drive due to her agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder that causes “excessive fear of certain situations,” which sometimes causes people to “resist leaving home.” according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Her appearance on “Red Table Talk” marked her first interview in 14 years, co-host Jada Pinkett Smith said.

Basinger recounted when she first experienced overwhelming anxiety. She was shopping at a neighborhood health food store in California when something stopped her in her tracks, she said.

“My basket was almost full, and I found something really overcoming me in such a way that I couldn’t breathe,” she told the “Red Table Talk” hosts. “So I left the basket, and I made it to my car, and that was the last time I drove for almost six, seven months.”

The “L.A. Confidential” Oscar winner said she “wouldn’t leave the house” and couldn’t tolerate guests visiting her home for dinner. “Everything” made her nervous, she said.

“It’s like something shuts down in you and you have to relearn everything,” she said. “I had to relearn to drive.”

Baldwin, Basinger’s daughter, discussed her own debilitating anxiety, which she experienced during her mother’s divorce from Alec Baldwin and as a professional model, in a one-on-one interview with Pinkett-Smith’s daughter, Willow Smith. Seeing her daughter struggle with anxiety “hurt [Basinger] worse than anything probably could,” Basinger said.

Now, though, Basinger credits her daughter with bringing her “out of [her] shell,” even though she said they both still experience anxious moments.

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