BY ADEDIWURA OKELEYE
British actress, Thandie Newton spoke to WMagazine recently about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hand of an unnamed director during her early days in acting.
She recounted, “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.”
She didn’t realize the full extent of what the director had done until years later when a drunk producer at a film festival said to her, “Oh, Thandie, I’ve seen you recently!” Her husband then asked the man to explain what he meant. “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.
The actress who is one of the stars of new HBO series, WestWorld said the main purpose of the revelation was to share the lesson she learnt reach out to someone that is likely to fall into the same situation.
Thandie Newton said, “I was so so naïve when I started out and I realize now that we have to prepare our kids— I’ve got two beautiful daughters, one is 16 one is 11. 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. 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.”
Thandie Newton was part of the foreign cast of Biyi Bandele‘s Half of a Yellow Sun – an adaptation of a novel of the same title by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.