Heather Locklear clarifies 'gross' moment making 'First Wives Club' after co-star disputes her story (updated)

Heather Locklear, sounding sharp and on her game, reminisced about some of her old roles on the Fake Doctors, Real Friends With Zach and Donald podcast.

The 58-year-old Melrose Place and Spin City star talked about Scrubs, of course, with co-hosts Zach Braff and Donald Faison, but also some earlier roles, including on T.J. Hooker with “intimidating” William Shatner and in The First Wives Club, a movie role she ended up requesting be uncredited due to what she said was an unscripted moment with a co-star that left her feeling “gross.” However, the film’s co-star, James Naughton, disputed that it was unscripted, sharing a copy of the script through his spokesperson to Yahoo Entertainment. Locklear has since clarified that she “didn’t mean James Naughton did anything wrong.”

Speaking about the star-studded 1996 film The First Wives Club — starring Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton — and why she was uncredited in the role, Locklear, who played one of the younger, second wives, recalled, “There was a couple of scenes that they [cut me out of] and then the only scene [I ended up in] had no lines and one of the actors [Naughton, who played her husband], we were at a funeral, and he was supposed to take his hand and touch my breast.” However, “He actually touched more... Gross... So I said: Can you just take my name off the credits since now I don’t have any lines? So it was creditless.”

(Photo: Paramount Pictures)
Heather Locklear and James Naughton in The First Wives Club. (Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Braff replied shocked, “So, wait, you’re in The First Wives Club but the only thing that happens is a man grabs your breast?” Locklear — who was already a big star at that time, the era of Melrose — replied that it went beyond that.

“He doesn’t grab it,” Locklear — married to Richie Sambora at the time — said. “He actually outlines my areola with his finger. It didn’t say that in the script. I was like [gasps] and I’m so glad they’re following his hand down [with the camera] because my face, my mouth is fallen open and I can’t believe it and don’t do it again. One take and let’s go.”

The scene, dubbed in Italian, in question:

That conversation led to Locklear being asked about being a sex symbol. Braff said it must be hard when she liked a role but don’t necessarily like a sex scene that went with it. Locklear said in the case of The First Wives Club, she didn’t even know it was going to be required of her in the first place.

“We were in a funeral. We were on the benches of the church,” she said of the scene, which saw her character accompany her husband Gil (Naughton) to his first wife’s funeral.

She added, “There was more to the part [than just being groped], I had filmed the bigger scenes and they thought ... I don’t know... Maybe I was bad in it.”

A rep for Naughton, who has starred in countless film, TV and Broadway productions (winning two Tony Awards), disputes that he went off-script.

“James remembers shooting this scene as written in the script,” his spokesperson tells Yahoo Entertainment. “He completely understands that Heather would have felt uncomfortable shooting this scene, as he felt uncomfortable as well.”

The spokesperson shared the script page — noting it was from the Yellow Revised Draft, dated Dec. 8, 1995. It says, “Despite the grave facade, we see that Gil is subtly using his finger to feel Mary’s breast. Mary smiles at him shyly.”

(Screenshot: First Wives Club script)
(Screenshot: First Wives Club script)

Naughton speaking out led to Locklear clarifying her comments on Thursday.

“Oh no, I didn’t mean James Naughton did anything wrong,” Locklear wrote on Instagram. “The script called for him to touch my breast. I was surprised that he circled my areola. We had not discussed the scene prior to filming.”

She ended by saying, “To be clear, I was never upset with James, just surprised. Love you James.”

Hugh Wilson, who directed the film, died in 2018.

Locklear also talked about her very first role, in CHiPs, remembering her first line (“Make them stop. Please, make them stop”), and reminisced appearing on T.J. Hooker in the 1980s. She was asked for “Shatner stories,” referring to the T.J. Hooker star Shatner, and delivered.

“Well, he’s very intimidating,” she replied. “He would say, ‘If you stop speaking and take a breath, I’m going to jump in’” with his line, which she said made her very nervous as a Hollywood newbie.

“It was always like license plate numbers I’d have to remember” on the police drama, she said, “so it made me so nervous. He would look at me and stare and wait.”

While she never was a Star Trek viewer, she saw his allure. “He’s very charming and he’s very funny and very dry,” she said of Shatner. “I ended up doing a Boston Legal with him,” in 2005, “and that was fun. And I was a little older and seemed closer to his age than when I was 18 and brand new” to the business.

Locklear went on to tell a story about going out with Shatner and his wife one night — not sharing the year, or wife — and things got rowdy.

“We went to some place where you throw the bras off and you put them on the ceiling,” she recalled. “I was on the bar and I go, ‘Should I take it off?’ He’s probably going, ‘Why are you asking me?’ And he said, ‘Sure,’ and I took it off and it’s left there somewhere.”

She also recalled talking with Shatner superfan Jason Alexander (whom she described as “the little guy” on Seinfeld, unable to channel his name).

“[Alexander] said, ‘Tell me what Shatner’s like. Tell me what he’s like.’ I’m like, ‘Well, sometimes he’s an a****** and sometimes he’s not,” she laughed.

She said now when she goes back and watches Seinfeld, she notices that Alexander’s “cadence is similar to William Shatner’s. Now you’ll look at it differently.”

Locklear also recalled starring on T.J. Hooker at the same time she was on Dynasty, which made her one of TV’s biggest stars. When Braff said that Aaron Spelling, who was behind both shows (as well as Melrose later) sure loved Locklear, she shot back, “He sure did and then he passed away and then I’m like jobless.”

Locklear, who has overcome personal problems in recent years, didn’t delve into her private life. She did, however, reference her “boyfriend” — though it’s technically fiancé after accepting her high school sweetheart Chris Heisser’s proposal in April.

This story was originally published on July 28, 2020, at 2:41 p.m. PT and has been updated to include new details.

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