Thandie Newton revealed that she was sexually abused by a filmmaker early on in her career during a new interview with W magazine.
The Pursuit of Happyness actress, 43, opened up about her traumatic past and why she often takes on tough roles now in many of her films, including Crash and For Colored Girls.
“A director, on a callback, had a camera shooting up my skirt and asked me to touch my t–ts and think about the guy making love to me in the scene,” she recounted in the interview posted online on Wednesday, June 29. “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.”
Newton did not name the director in question nor the film that she was auditioning for at the time.
Years later, she attended a film festival, where she claims a drunken producer came up to her and said, “‘Oh, Thandie, I’ve seen you recently!’ And he lurched away looking really shocked that he’d said that.”
After explaining that her husband, Ol Parker, questioned the man, Newton told W magazine, “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.”
She continued, “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.”