While speaking to The New York Times about the forthcoming book, she expressed gratitude that Reynolds passed away before she could release it as she knew the light it would shine on their past.
"This would hurt him," Field said. "I felt glad that he wasn’t going to read it, he wasn’t going to be asked about it, and he wasn’t going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have. I did not want to hurt him any further."
The two starred together in films such as Smokey and the Bandit and Hooper, but off-screen they had a romantic relationship that Field says was "confusing and complicated, and not without loving and caring, but really complicated and hurtful to me."
She went on to link her relationship with Reynolds to the one she had with Jock Mahoney, her sexually abusive stepfather. "I was somehow exorcising something that needed to be exorcised," she stated. "I was trying to make it work this time."
Field also alleges in the book that Reynolds took Percodan, Valium and barbiturates while they were making Smokey and the Bandit.
As has been widely reported, Reynolds passed away on Sept. 6 at the age of 82. In a statement following his passing, Reynolds' niece, Nancy Lee Hess, said that his passing was still a surprise even with his advanced age.
"My uncle was not just a movie icon; he was a generous, passionate and sensitive man who was dedicated to his family, friends, fans and acting students," she stated.
"He has had health issues, however, this was totally unexpected. He was tough. Anyone who breaks their tailbone on a river and finishes the movie is tough. And that’s who he was," Hess went on to say. "My uncle was looking forward to working with Quentin Tarantino [In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood] and the amazing cast that was assembled."
Field also provided a statement after Reynold's death, following the news that he had reportedly died of a heart attack.
"There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even forty years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy," the actress said.
Field's memoir, In Pieces, is scheduled to be released this month by Simon & Schuster.