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Fact Files - The Details Article from 1997

In October 1997, Melissa did something which had really had people shocked. She appeared in Details magazine, with some other actresses in a lingerie shoot... Here is the article from the mag:

Some people only watch it for the news. Or to keep track of the weather. They want to improve themselves. To learn something. To these people we say: Grow up. Because TV is not for snobs. TV is not for Shakespeare. TV is for one thing and one thing only: pleasure. And with that in mind, we invited some of the greatest sources of our television pleasure to join sex correspondent Sarah Miller in a discussion of how they work and the way they work on us.

The setting: A warm tropical day in a private cabana at the Sunset Marquis in Los Angeles. The women:

  • Yasmine Bleeth, twenty-nine and single. Did commercials as a baby, and went on to save drowning victims on Baywatch, where she'll complete her three-year run this fall.
  • Alyssa Milano, twenty-four, single and looking. Grew up as Samantha Micelli on Wbo's the Boss?, and has just started her second season on Melrose Place.
  • Peta Wilson, twenty-six, single and living with her boyfriend. She gets even in the title role of USA Network's La Femme Nikita.
  • Garcelle Beauvais, thirty, divorced, dating, and mother of a six-year-old. Started out as a model, then played one on TV (Models, Inc.). Now she's Jamie Foxx's love interest on Warner Bros.' The Jamie Foxx Show.
  • Carmen Electra, twenty-five, single, living with her boyfriend. Cohost of the freak show for single people everywhere, MTVs Singled Out, and this fall, she too will be putting on that famous red bathing suit as she joins the cast of the most popular show in the world: Baywatch.
  • Jamie Luner, twenty-four, single and living with her boyfriend. Owes it all to Aaron Spelling: She was Peyton Richards in the short-lived campfest Savannah, and is now playing Lexi Sterling on Melrose Place.
  • Melissa Joan Hart, twenty-one, single and living with her boyfriend. First starred in Nickelodeon's Clarissa Explains It All, and then moved on to ABC as Sabrina on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
  • Jeri Ryan, twenty-nine, married and mother of a three-year-old. She appeared in NBC's Dark Skies, and now plays Seven of &me on Star Trek: Voyager.
QUESTION: So. Men. How do you explain them?
PETA: I was reading this book on human oddities the other day and it said that men and women split apart a long time ago that at first everyone was born as a sort of half man, half woman.
YASMINE: Hermaphrodites!
PETA: Right. And maybe that was the original species.
JAMIE: I think men are a different species from women entirely.
YASMINE: I wonder what would happen if we didn't need the other sex.
QUESTION: Would we live together, or be completely separate?
PETA: I think that the fact that in some ways men and women are different species is why we're so attracted to each other. A friend of mine said about men the other day, "Oh, you know, they're all tripods. Two legs and a dick."
Well, we're definitely more sensitive and analytic and talky.
YASMINE: Yeah. I did her, she blew me. That's how men talk to each other. I have a friend who says he can't live with a woman because he'd just have sex all day.
PETA: Oh my God, that is funny. What is he afraid of - too many blow jobs with breakfast?
YASMINE: Like he could screw her twenty-four hours a day! So how do you think this species perceives you?
YASMINE: As a wholesome American girl! Actually, a friend just showed me all my Web sites - there are, like, fifty of them. I was like, Oh my God. I had no idea.
PETA: I have, like, thirty-two Web sites.
JERI: It's surreal. When I first got cast, the executive producer of Star Trek: Voyager said, "You don't know what you've gotten yourself into." He was right. There was a Web page on me two months before I'd even been on the air! I thought, How do these people get this stuff - the pictures and everything? It's flattering, but it's also weird.
MELISSA: I was topless on the Internet. Someone took a picture of me from Clarissa, took the straps off a leotard I was wearing, and drew in nipples.
JERI: The weirdest thing is that I'm becoming an action figure.
MELISSA: I have a Hasbro doll coming out this fall.
JERI: I've seen what the guys in the makeup trailer do with dolls.
MELISSA: (wincing) They play games with them.
JERI: They mutilate them. It's ugly.
PETA: I still want them to make a Nikita Barbie.
YASMINE: Oh, they will. Hey, on your Web sites, do you have the ones with pictures of your feet and all that? There's one guy who writes everybody saying, "Gee, I have a picture of you, and your feet are in some high-heeled pumps." Has that happened to anyone else? (Silence)
QUESTION: Do the women of Hollywood give you more respect than the guys in the makeup trailer?
JERI: Well, I don't exactly feel like a second-class citizen, but there's certainly a hierarchy.
YASMINE: Exactly: There's night time, which is better than daytime, and then there's network and syndicated, and then there's Baywatch - the eye-candy show - but at least it's a series. Do film actresses ford it over you?
ALYSSA: (nodding) I've been pointed at and laughed at.
YASMINE: I was at this huge party and I'm sitting next to Uma Thurman and I'm thinking, Oh, God. I'm assuming she doesn't even know who the hell I am, but what if she does? Is she thinking, just some chick from Baywatch? Is concern about your image why you've never done a nude photo shoot?
YASMINE: They've asked me to be in Playboy, and I've always said no. In the beginning, I thought maybe it was because I didn't like the idea of men jerking off to my picture - but then look at the show I'm on. They probably jerk off to that. So I don't think that's it. Some people think, "Well, you run around in a bathing suit - what's the difference?" It's just a personal line I draw.
CARMEN: For me, being in Playboy was a great experience. I did a pictorial, which I think is different than being a Playmate. My grandmother took the issue with her to the hair salon and was showing all the little old ladies - "Look, here's my granddaughter!"
MELISSA: I'd pose nude if I had a body like yours.
PETA: I'd get naked if Helmut Newton took the picture!
YASMINE: Yeah, it's tempting - the money. Five hours' work could put my kids through college.
JERI: I couldn't do it. I was in this movie where I was playing a stripper, and I had to get down to where I was basically wearing this little bikini. And they were like, "Oh, we're just going to go out on this shot while you're taking your top off," and I said, "No you won't just do that."
ALYSSA: I didn't do Playboy, but I did Embrace of the Vampire and Poison Ivy II, which had nudity in them. No frontal nudity, but there were some butt shots.
GARCELLE: I'd have to think about my six-year-old. As it is, he says to me, "Mom, you're sexy!" (laughs) He tries to give me movie kisses.
QUESTION: Do you ever have days when you think, I can't believe I'm playing this idiotic character?
YASMINE: All the time! That's why I'm leaving Baywatch. Do you know what I mean? I don't like going to work and feeling that way. I think that's shitty. And I don't want to take money for doing something I hate. I'm at the point where I can't believe I have to go save another drowning victim, or do another montage in a bikini. In the beginning it didn't bother me. Fine. Great. Thank you very much for the opportunity.
MELISSA: I get annoyed because my character, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, flies a vacuum cleaner instead of a broomstick. It's supposed to be a joke, but I don't find it all that funny. It's cute. That's the show.
PETA: TV is very controlled. For me, it's all in the hands of the executive producer. He hired me. It's his show. I'm playing Nikita, but I'm playing not the full Nikita. I'm compromising on many levels. (pauses) But there are ways I can cheat the TV. If I haven't worked out for a couple days, I'll have the makeup person dab a little of that contour makeup on my lats while they're doing my face.
YASMINE: Some of the guys on Baywatch do that, too. Sometimes I forget that looking a certain way is part of the job - even though my mom was a model and I did commercials as an infant. When I was growing up, she instilled in me the understanding that there would always be someone prettier than I am, somebody different - some new flavor of the month. When I went to Baywatch, I was the hot thing for however long I was hot, and now there are new hot things.
QUESTION: Do you all like the women you play?
JAMIE: I don't know. I was playing Peyton, this really manipulative woman on Savannah, who is not exactly a role model - not someone I would want to be like - but everybody who watched loved her. It's kind of scary.
ALYSSA: I think the women of Melrose Place and Savannah represent a side of all of us: We're all sexual beings, we all like to look cute, we all wish we could get into that catfight with our ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend. It's that side of every woman that is usually kept under cover because it's not the most attractive side.
MELISSA: (to Alyssa) Is Lisa Rinna on Melrose? She wore a dress to the American Music Awards, and I'm sorry, I wish I had that ass.
ALYSSA: Lisa has the best story line this year. You are going to pee your pants.
QUESTION: So Aaron Spelling really knows women.
JAMIE: Aaron - bless his heart. He's like, Okay, here's a career. When men in America watch your shows, they are, of course, driven to think about the really hard issues, like when did you lose your virginity?
JERI: Well this is more of a close call. When I was fifteen, I had a huge crush on this guy, but I was also scared to death of sex. And he came over to visit me one day, in the middle of summer, you know - a teenage girl's dream - and I panicked because I knew he was going to try to kiss me. So I picked up my cat, and I held it so he couldn't get too close. Finally he's like, "Okay, this is a little boring," and started to leave.
MELISSA: (smiling nervously) I don't think I can get into this.
JERI: Yes you can! Go, go, go!
MELISSA: (reluctantly) I'm still a virgin! No, just kidding. I guess I was almost seventeen. It was with my boyfriend at the time. I'd really never done anything more than kiss anyone before that. I even wore bodysuits all the time so no one could get anywhere. They were like chastity belts just to make sure I was safe, you know?
PETA: I was on the Pill when I was, like, fifteen. I was eating breakfast, and I just talked to my mum about it, you know when I was going to do it the first time. I had the guy picked out and everything - he was an electrician, and I was planning to do it for his birthday. (laughter) He always thought of me as, like, Pete, the boy. And there I was - all dressed up on his birthday - kind of like his present. Anyway, my mum and I went through this whole thing together, and I went off with him and it was a complete disaster. I came home crying at four in the morning.
QUESTION: Now that you've grown up, do you sleep with men on the first date?
JERI: Nooooo.
PETA: Hell, I've met a guy and, like, two hours later...
COMMENT FROM QUESTIONEER: I totally sleep with guys on the first date!
YASMINE: Well, you're a slut too. For me it's always been about three to five weeks, but it's not like I made that a conscious decision.
CARMEN: (laughing) I just jump on 'em. As soon as I get their number and I like them, I just jump on them.
ALYSSA: What can I say? Sometimes you want to be knocked down on the floor, sometimes you want to be caressed.
QUESTION: Are men obsessed with oral sex?
JAMIE: Men are voyeurs - they're stimulated by the visual aspect.
CARMEN: I think women are way more obsessed with it than men are.
PETA: I think that men who are obsessed with oral sex need to wank more.
YASMINE: I remember being a kid and asking my mother what it was. I was like, "Is it fun?" Anyway, I would sleep with someone before oral sex.
ALYSSA: For men it's about doing something that's less of a commitment. They'll take oral sex from a woman they're not interested in, and then they won't have to spend the night. And they don't have to enter a woman's body.
ALYSSA: (shaking her head) Not in her private spot.
CARMEN: I think the ultimate goal for a guy is to get inside your pants, and if they have to settle for a blow job, they will.
ALYSSA: As far as I'm concerned, if I'm doing anything at all for them, they're very lucky.
PETA: My mum told me to keep it to a minimum: Christmas and birthdays.
QUESTION: When was the first time you were ever turned on?
CARMEN: I was born boy-crazy. I remember flirting with boys in kindergarten. I'd try to beat 'em up. That's how I went about it.
ALYSSA: I remember being thirteen and doing sit-ups and feeling something funny down there and being like, Ohhhh ... what's happening right now? (laughs) My stomach is flat to this day.
PETA: When I saw Jeff Bridges in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. I was twelve - I didn't even have my period yet - and I thought, Wow. All I could think of was what he might look like naked.
YASMINE: For me it was Elvis Presley.
QUESTION: What turns you on now?
ALYSSA: Wearing a boyfriend's underwear - like men's little 34 jockeys with the flap. They can be a bit dirty, too. I love it. I'm not into weeks and weeks of pee stains, though.
PETA: Clean underwear's important. Don't want to see no dirty underwear.
ALYSSA: I used to sleep nude until the earthquake, when I saw a neighbor in just his underpants and was like, Okay, that's gross. I don't wanna be that guy. I'm going to put on clothes now.
PETA: Lips are good for me. Because kissing is where it's all at. It's all about that kiss. I bet you're a good kisser, Yasmine. Why don't we have a big kiss right now? (Yasmine laughs)
JERI: Well, if we're talking about kissing, my big piece of advice is, don't stand there six inches from my head when I don't know you're there and wait for me to turn around, and then try and kiss me.
MELISSA: I think that's kind of cool sometimes.
JERI: Well, not if you bang teeth.
MELISSA: Right. You don't want any black eyes or bloody noses.
QUESTION: Garcelle? Yasrnine? Carmen? Speak up!
CARMEN: The most important thing is a really good package. And shoes. I dated someone who wears higher heels than I do, and I think we all know who that is.
COMMENT: That would be Prince.
YASMINE: I once dated a guy who sat on the toilet seat when he peed. I liked that. I hate it when guys leave those little drips.
GARCELLE: I've always dated guys who are four or five years older than I am. I have someone pretty cool in my life now who's older, but he's, like, twenty-three years older.
MELISSA: Boccaccio said that younger men will drain all the money from you and older men will always buy you things.
QUESTION: What about money? A turn-on? Does anyone besides me peek at the tip to see whether the guy is cheap or not? (Everyone nods)
ALYSSA: I'm turned on by my own money.
QUESTION: Maybe you're one of those hemapthrodites we were talking about earlier
ALYSSA: I don't think so. I've been single for almost eight months and I'm ready to kill myself.
QUESTION: I'm sure that as soon as you want to get back inot things
ALYSSA: I'm ready! I'm raring to go! And to make things worse, I went through all seven episodes last season without a kiss, and it was like, "What am I, the nun on this show?" Finally after nine episodes I had a love scene.
QUESTION: Who do you kiss?
ALYSSA: I can't tell you, because Spelling gets crazy about that. But of course I got really nervous before this scene because I hadn't been out on a date in six months. My palms were sweaty. I looked at the guy and I was like, "This is the most action I've gotten in six months. I'm just letting you know."
GARCELLE: I'm attached now, but for a while my girlfriends and I just sat around ordering sushi and wishing someone would ask us out. I think a lot of guys might have assumed that I had somebody, or that I wouldn't have time for them.
ALYSSA: When I go out with my friends I'm just goofing around, doing ugly dancing and having the best time, and you'd think I would be totally approachable, but I'm not approached often. I would love to be pursued by someone, but it just doesn't happen.
YASMINE: The dating scene in L.A. is the worst. I wouldn't go out with anyone who asked me out in a bar anyway.
GARCELLE: I hate it when guys think that if I smile at them I want to bear their children. They also think all women want to get married. And I don't really blame them. It's because of how we've been raised. I mean, when you watch TV commercials you see girls who want to get dressed, get married, or have babies. And the boys are like, "Let's go jump!" Men are just conditioned to think that way.
ALYSSA: And then there's the intimidation factor. It's a test of how strong the guy is. If 1 get recognized more than three times when I go out with someone, they're usually outta there.
CARMEN: If I go out on a date and get recognized three times, I seem to have them wrapped around my finger, and that's when I lose interest. I like to wonder - I like that point where you have a crush and you don't know if that person likes you or not, so you're going crazy inside and looking forward to seeing them every day. That to me is fun. Once I know it's there and locked down, I'm bored.
JERI: My husband and I were talking about this the other day. I was giving him kudos for playing it exactly right when I first met him, 'cause he held back so much. He was a good challenge.
QUESTION: Someone told me that the secret of a successful relationship is having good fights.
JERI: I can't fight. I pout and clam up and stomp out of the room and avoid confrontation at all costs. Most of all, I sulk.
QUESTION: Does it work?
JERI: Crying is better.
ALYSSA: I'll pick a fight with someone just to get a response from them, to get some spark back into things after being with someone for six months. Like, I'm bored sitting here watching Hard Copy.
MELISSA: I used to be a real screamer. And if he said something nasty, I'd come back with something even more nasty. One time I got into the shower with all my clothes on just to get his attention. I didn't know what else to do.
YASMINE: Don't you think it's easier to manipulate someone who's a little vulnerable? Sometimes I'll be feeling bad about myself, and find myself doing that to feel better. Not very healthy, is it?
PETA: I saw my mother do that for years and I'm not into it. My mum is kind of like Jessica Lange in Blue Sky. She stops traffic. When I was young I was really prudish, and I was so upset by my mum's sexuality. She would arrive to pick me up from school in a sports car and some short dress, and I would be mortified. (laughs) Look at me now!
YASMINE: It was my dad who was the cool guy. He gave me sips of beer. I probably shouldn't say this, but I smoked my first joint with my dad. (laughter)
PETA: I loved my dad. I wanted to marry him. My mum divorced him and I was like, "I'll marry you!"
YASMINE: My parents split up when I was really young. Then about six years ago, my mom died of breast cancer.
PETA: I can't imagine. You're so strong! You're so strong to be sitting here.
QUESTION: You also survived a very public breakup with actor Ricky Paull Goldin which was reported in every newspaper and tabloid in America.
YASMINE: Yeah. My career had made me very self-involved, and I just became less nurturing with him.
QUESTION: But you don't regret it, do you?
YASMINE: I regret what I became, sure. I got engaged, then I went on Leno. I was all giddy. Looking back in retrospect, I'd never do it again. I try not to talk specifically about my personal life anymore - I have enough problems. Sometimes I think men and women are just not meant to cohabitate. Maybe it's the men I've been with, but it's always such a battle, you know, to try and make things work.
ALYSSA: I think I've stayed too long in relationships because of sex. When I'm in it, I'm hoping it's more than just that.
QUESTION: So what do you do when it's all over?
CARMEN: I love to be heartbroken. It makes me feel creative.
ALYSSA: I just sleep.
QUESTION: You went out with Scott Wolf for a while, right?
ALYSSA: Yeah. We broke up when he was doing the pilot for Party of Five. That was three, almost four years ago.
QUESTION: How long did it take you to get over him?
ALYSSA: About two years.
QUESTION: I'm going to assume you weren't asleep for the entire time.
ALYSSA: I went from hurt to anger in about 2.2 seconds.
CARMEN: The worst is when you really love someone, but you have to leave them for yourself, not because of anything they've actually done. I was living in Century City and the Artist was taking care of me. He'd hired a bodyguard to drive me around and take me everywhere and it was very isolating. I had to decide whether I was going to live like that or become independent and have my freedom. It was so hard, because I really did love him.
ALYSSA: When I was on Who's the Boss?, Prince called me. One of the P.A.'s came over and told me, and I was like, "You mean, like, Prince Prince?" So he left his number at Paisley Park and everyone was like, "Call him!" and I was like, "I can't call Prince!" But I did, and I said, "Hello, this is Alyssa Milano," and the secretary said, "Oh, Prince has been waiting for your call!" So I waited for fifteen minutes and finally he came to the phone. He said, "Is it really you?" and I said, "Is it really you?" He told me to call him back when I got home, but I never did. I was kind of scared.
CARMEN: It's weird he didn't call back. Maybe he just wanted to hear your voice, to make sure you were really real.
QUESTION: What is the weirdest date you have been on?
ALYSSA: Well that has to go to Melissa!
MELISSA: Well er ya see there was this hamburger Date in Washington State and...
Statement: Well, time's out - we can't air that one Melissa!

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