Brooke Shields’ ‘Friends’ Guest Role Made Andre Agassi Throw a Trophy-Smashing Tantrum
Maybe in the inevitable modern reboot of Friends they’ll make an episode titled, “The One Where A Methed-Up Andre Agassi Smashes All His Trophies.”
Actress and supermodel Brooke Shields likely has countless messed-up stories from her 45 years in the spotlight, but it’s hard to imagine many of them are as equally funny and frightening as the time her appearance on the beloved NBC sitcom caused a “marital dispute” that ended with a bunch of Grand Slam trophies bashed into a thousand pieces. In a recent New Yorker interview, Shields recalled the filming of the Friends episode that launched her sitcom career and caused her then-husband, tennis great Andre Agassi, to attack his many accolades in a fit of rage.
If an episode of a sitcom could ever cause the average person to fly into a rage and destroy their most prized possessions, it would at least be one with a clip show.
In 1996, Shields appeared in a double-length Friends episode titled, “The One After the Super Bowl,” in which she plays a crazed stalker who is obsessed with Joey Tribbiani’s Days of Our Lives character Dr. Drake Ramoray and believes that Joey is actually his character in real life. Her performance was so well-received that it led to her landing the lead role on the sitcom Suddenly Susan later that year — and, yet, there was one audience member at the taping that night to whom the episode was received less than well.
Shields recalled the exact scene that set off Agassi as he sat in the live studio audience, saying, “In the scene, I’m supposed to lick Joey’s fingers, because they’re the hands of a genius, and I want to devour them, and I’m a nut.” Agassi “stormed out” in the middle of filming, and when Shields found him later, “He said, ‘Everybody’s making fun of me. You made a fool of me by that behavior.’ I'm like, ‘It’s comedy! What is the matter with you?'”
As it turns out, there was a possible and very dark explanation for Agassi’s erratic behavior. “I learned later that he was addicted to crystal meth at that point, so that irrational behavior I’m sure had something to do with that,” Shields explained. In a rage, Agassi rushed to their home and “smashed all his trophies,” a reaction Shields called “petulant.”
Some tennis players smash their rackets when they're angry — the greats, though, smash trophies.