Thandie Newton says she was sexually abused in one of her first film roles

Thandie Newton, seen here in the 2004 film Crash, says she was sexually abused by a director.
Thandie Newton, seen here in the 2004 film Crash, says she was sexually abused by a director.

Thandie Newton says she was sexually abused by a director in one of her first film roles - and she hopes speaking out stops it from happening to someone else.

The British star of films like Mission: Impossible II and Crash and upcoming HBO show Westworld told W Magazine the incident happened at the beginning of her career.

She said an unnamed director asked her to do things which she thought were "weird" - and years later she found out he'd shown the footage to others.

"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, 'Okay, 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," she said.

Newton said she was approached by a producer at a film festival years later who drunkenly said, "Oh, Thandie, I've seen you recently!" before making a shame-faced exit.

She explained: "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," Newton said.

She hoped the incident would help stop further instances of sexual abuse.

"One person will read this and it will stop them getting sexually abused by a director. That's the person I'm interested in."

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women's Refuge: Free national crisisline operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• ShineFree national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisisline 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz

- NZ Herald

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