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Thandie Newton Talks Traumatic Audition Story, Says She Was Sexually Abused by a Director

by Jennifer Drysdale 4:17 PM PDT, July 01, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Thandie Newton is speaking out.

The 43-year-old actress has auditioned many times throughout her career, but one audition in particular still haunts her.

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"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," Newton told W magazine of the alleged experience. "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."

The audition came back to haunt her years later at a film festival. The British actress says producer drunkenly said to her, "'Oh, Thandie, I've seen you recently!' And he lurched away looking really shocked that he'd said that." Newton's husband, writer/director Ol Parker, later confronted the man for clarification. "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 said.

But the Westworld star's harrowing tale comes with an important lesson -- something she hopes her children and others will be aware of. "I was so so naïve when I started out, and I realize now we have to prepare our kids -- I've got two beautiful daughters, one is 16 and one is 11," she told the magazine.

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"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 being a bum out," the actress 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."

Newton isn't the only one to speak out about sexual abuse in Hollywood. In October, Ashley Judd came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against a major Hollywood heavyweight.  

The 48-year-old actress claims that she was sexually harassed by "one of our industry's most famous, admired-slash-rivaled bosses" while filming Kiss the Girls in the late '90s. While Judd declined to give the name of her alleged abuser, she did open up about several of the horrifying incidents.

"The ultimate thing when I was weaseling out of everything else was, 'Will you watch me take a shower?' And all the other women, sitting around this table with me, said, 'Oh my god -- that's what he said to me too,'" the Double Jeopardy star recalled.

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See what else Judd had to say about the traumatic experience in the video below.

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