Thandie Newton has spoken out about being sexually abused by a male director as she was starting out in her acting career.
Although the actress did not name the director in question, she recounted the incident, which took place during a callback audition when she was still a teenager, during a new interview.
Speaking to W magazine, Newton said: “A director, on a callback, had a camera shooting up my skirt and asked me to touch my tits and think about the guy making love to me in the scene.” I thought, ‘OK, this is a little weird,’ but there was a female casting director in the room and I’d done weird stuff before so I did it.”
Years later at Cannes Film Festival, a drunk producer revealed the director had been showing the video to his friends.
The producer approached the actress, she said, saying: “Oh, Thandie, I’ve seen you recently!”
Newton continued: “And he lurched away looking really shocked that he’d said that. It turns out that the director was showing that audition tape to his friends after poker games at his house. And they would all get off on it.”
The actress told W she was speaking out about the incident to try and prevent a similar thing happening to other women in the film industry.
“So many people in our business, they don’t want to be the ones to say something that’s a bum out because then they become associated with a bum out and nobody wants to read about so-and-so because they’re always blabbering on about a bum out,” she said. “But one person will read this and it will stop them getting sexually abused by a director. That’s the person I’m interested in.”