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Tabloid Took Shields' Mom out of Nursing Home

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This Brooke Shields's mother, who suffers from dementia, was checked out of a New Jersey nursing home Thursday by a journalist seeking a "tabloid story," the outraged actress tells PEOPLE.

Teri Shields, 75, was later found unharmed at a restaurant next door to an assisted living center in Old Tappan, N.J., talking to a freelance reporter, according to police, who say no arrests have been made but that the case remains under investigation.

"I intend to take every lawful action against all who were involved or who authorized this despicable act," Brooke Shields says in a statement to PEOPLE.

The actress claims her mother was targeted by the National Enquirer.

"My mother Teri Shields has been diagnosed with dementia. For her safety, she has temporarily been in a senior living facility, a very difficult decision for me," she says. "Late Thursday afternoon, I was alerted by Old Tappan Police that my mother had been signed out of the facility by two reporters of the National Enquirer ... who falsely claimed they were friends of hers."

She adds: "They then drove my 75-year-old mother around looking for a tabloid story. As anyone knows who has a parent who suffers from dementia or Alzheimer's, it is one of the most difficult experiences you can go through as a son or daughter. The idea that the National Enquirer took advantage of her state is reprehensible and disgusting."

In a statement, the National Enquirer responds: "A freelance reporter who has known Teri Shields for more than 10 years visited her Thursday at the assisted living facility where Brooke says she moved her. Teri asked the reporter to take her out to lunch and to run some errands. The freelance reporter then got permission from the facility to do so."

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