Thandie Newton Tells Story About A Slimy Director

thandie newton[E Online] Thandie Newton is opening up about a “horrific” casting incident she experienced as an up-and-coming actress.

The Good Deeds star revealed that she was sexually exploited by a director when she went to a second audition, a screen test, for a project at the age of 18.

“The director asked me to sit with my legs apart, and the camera was positioned where it could see up my skirt,” Newton told CNN Thursday. “[I had to] put my leg over the arm of the chair, and before I started my dialogue, think about the character I was supposed to be having the dialogue with and how it felt to be made love to by this person.”

Newton said the director made her touch herself and zoomed the camera between her legs. A female director was also in the room and did nothing to stop it.

“I was thinking, ‘This is so strange, why would I need to do that?’ But this is the director, there is the casting director, it must be normal.”

Newton said she later discovered that the director had shown the video of her at his home to “interested parties,” after she and her husband were approached by a “drunk” producer at the Cannes Film Festival three years later who said he saw the footage.

The 40-year-old actress shared her story as a part of a One Billion Rising protest campaign event held in the Westminster area of London Thursday, which raises awareness about violence towards women.


Male Film Director:

Female Casting Director:

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53 comments to Thandie Newton Tells Story About A Slimy Director

  • CanaryCry

    Too many possible names?

  • I Am PunkA

    Since she started in 1991, gotta be her first.

    John Duigan FTW. Liz Mullinar as casting director.

    • I Am PunkA

      The movie she was repping at Cannes that year was Jefferson in Paris.

      • Arcadia

        @IAmPunkA Good Job!

        BRAVO for Thandie Newton (who I adore) for being brave and making this public. A second BRAVO to Ace/Blindgossip :)

    • tequilafish

      Nope. There are reports that Thandie had an affair with John Duigan when she was 16.

      Which means if it was two years later (at 18) then it would be Danny Cannon or Neil Jordan.

      • I Am PunkA

        Uh, a director having an affair with a 16-year old would absolutely qualify as being sexually exploited. Perhaps this story is just to illustrate how things started.

  • LooLoo

    Was Michael Bay already making terrible movies back then?

  • OohDoTell

    Sounds rather Polanski-esque.

    • fluorescentadolescent

      …… Not quite. But still bad nonetheless.

      If she was a 13 year old girl who was drugged and then anally and vaginally raped, then yes. This is why I refuse to watch any Roman Polanski films. I cannot support him.

      • fluorescentadolescent

        Ah. That was your guess. I thought it was just a descriptive opinion. Yes, I suppose it could be him then.

  • waitinonthesun

    It sounds like that scene from Basic Instinct 2. But, Sharon Stone was in that one.

  • davidarochelle

    Bravo to Thandie for standing up to a common practice in Hollywood, abuse of power.

  • AuntieMama

    The director should be called out. Could be anyone but the director would have to be at least 10 years older than her

  • Up the Coast

    Roman Polanski

  • sherlock

    I saw her interview with CNN last night which left me pretty disgusted.This was sexual abuse of the worst kind,this director should be named ,shamed and prosecuted.Actors and film people are actively being charged and prosucuted for sexual abuse going back to the sixties here in the UK.Many well known TV personalities here have been exposed and publicly named,you should do the same in the USA as well.

  • DutchessCNG

    Slimy Director: John Duigan
    Movie: Flirting

  • kermit1969

    Director: Joel Schumacher

  • realmccoy18

    John Duigan who directed her movie flirting

  • pattycakes

    I’m not defending the slim director, but seriously, some actresses are so stupid.

    • Up the Coast

      I was thinking the same thing…she should have followed her instincts and walked out.

    • NBG

      I would agree if she wasn’t 18 at the time, young naive and lacking the life experience to know better

    • DaphneAntoinette

      wow we’re victim-blaming now? if you haven’t noticed, there are apparent pose dynamics at play here which clearly prevent Newton from walking out of the disgusting audition. So instead of saying people are stupid and what not, why not support them for want to speak out and end this institutionalized culture of abuse and rape?
      It’s so hypocritical to support a victim but then shame them for not doing what you felt they should have done regardless whether it was right or wrong. sheesh.

    • Jordan Joelle

      No one is supporting the loser Director but come on now? At 18 you know when something is not right. How is this abuse? He abused his position as a director, but he did not lock the door, tie her down, etc… and make her do this. We are getting so ridiculous on what we categorize as rape and abuse, that these kinds of stories, hurt the cause.
      Let’s call it like it is. She was young and fame hungry. She was willing to compromise her morals to get fame. Now, 22 yrs later when you have more clarity and maturity, she feels bad about it. Now she speaks up. The problem is, she chose to go through with it, she was not raped or abused.

      • TedTheodoreLogan

        It’s not right to blame the victim. She was extremely young. Plus this is the entertainment industry that we’re talking about. Who knows what was going through her mind? Miss Newton may have been worried that if she walked out she would never get another audition. The director could have spread the word that she was difficult during a screen test, therefore ruining her career. To this very day there are directors, casting agents, producers that take advantage of actors/actresses who want to make it. Some go even further than what this man did during this screen test.

      • witchmagpie

        I disagree. At 18, a lot of women lack the confidence to stand up for themselves, and Hollywood is so weird to begin with, it’s probably difficult to determine what is appropriate for a role and what is just plain inappropriate. I also don’t think it’s fair to say that someone wasn’t abused just because they didn’t struggle to get away or say no. The director was in a position of authority, she may have felt coerced to do something she wasn’t comfortable with. I know many women, myself included, who have been raped and abused who didn’t say “no” because they felt threatened in some way. That doesn’t mean you don’t feel dirty and shamed, or you somehow implicitly agreed that the abuse was mutually desired. We don’t know where Thandie was mentally when this happened, so all we can do is speculate about her motives, thoughts and feelings. Regardless of whether she was a fame whore or a victim, what happened to her is happening a lot in Hollywood to both men and women and it sucks. Maybe if more people come forward and say something, positive change will occur.

      • GossipProblem

        UM. I don’t know what AMAZING self-confident person you were at 18, but most of us weren’t that. Add to the fact that she is an actress by trade so she probably has very low self confidence. This is a work environment and this guy was her superior and her elder. He used his position, age, and influence to pressure her into doing something uncomfortable. If the environment was changed to say, a corporate situation, then you’d be calling for this person’s resignation. Bottom line, in Hollywood the people in charge sexually exploit ALL parties who are looking for a break into a very competitive industry. You shouldn’t have to be made to feel like you must be sexually available to this person just for a job. Some of us dropped our dreams of acting because we DIDN’T want to have to deal with this nor have to be jaded by it. You’re a judgmental, bitter person. An 18 year old girl is about as insecure and naive as you get. It’s people like you that keep this sexual pressure alive in Hollywood. Blame it on the young girl looking for success; not the older man who has power and influence and she know better. You disgust me.

    • eb

      I feel sorry for her and can totally see how this happened.

      For those of you who can’t understand it… well it’s almost too much to communicate in this venue. Suffice it to say they are just different from you at that age. They have a higher level of trust of adults and people in general for very good reasons. They are largely unrehearsed in saying ‘no’ not only to adults but to their peers. And they have little to no experience of sexual abuse, abusive power dynamics, and mind games. They are optimistic and have big goals. And their over-arching relationship with ‘adults’ is one of getting their approval.

      She needs to unmask this monster and at least leave the rest of the female population aware of this predator.

    • buttercup

      This has nothing to do with age. This could happen to any woman at any time in her life. There are reasons things like this continue to happen, and the fact that you don’t understand them or appreciate them is indicative of that. It’s a deeply human process that involves millions of years of evolution, thousands of years of human culture, and our neurobiology. The very same thing could happen to you. You might say it never would, but that’s the blind spot in your neurobiology speaking. So if something like this has never happened to you, good for you. Now shut up because you don’t know. Just admit you don’t know.

      On top of that, the fact that he filmed it is bad enough. The fact that he showed it to other “interested” parties at his home is disgusting and probably dredged up horrible memories for her of this entire ordeal, three years after she probably had made sense of it all in her mind. That’s violence no matter how you define it.

  • Virgo826

    Total guess, but I’m going with sex deviant director Roman Polanski and UK casting director for the film Bitter Moon, Mary Selway

  • NoLongerLurking

    I love Thandie so good for her for being brave enough to say something.
    Been a fan since the movie Flirting. <3

  • kookywooky

    Male Film Director: James Cameron? Stanley Kubrick? Cameron Crowe? Adrian Lyne? David Cronnenberg?

    Female Casting Director:?

    Male Film Director: Woody Allen?

    Female Casting Director: Juliet Taylor?

  • KWDragon

    I have no idea here, but this person (and the female producer who said nothing) should be permanently unemployed in the entertainment business. This is unconscionable. Good for Thandie Newton for speaking out.

  • ValleyOfTheGalls

    It’s very brave of her to tell that story to the public. Of course, in doing so, her career is over.

  • lulabelle

    If she was 16, then John Duigan like I Am PunkA said, but didn’t she confirm that she was involved with him for several years (also wretched since he was 20+ years older than she)? If she was 18, maybe Danny Cannon and Sheila Trezise on The Young Americans (1993)? Kudos to her for speaking out either way.

  • Bradster

    Just wanted to point out….it doesn’t actually say that she got the role, right? So this could be anything or anyone at the time she was 18.

  • DiamondGoddess

    Why aren’t women being raised anymore to get up and leave when BS like this goes down?
    I get that she was young and wanted the job, but why not heed your (correct) feelings of unease and bail?
    Anyway, good for her for talking about it now.
    Grosse!!!

  • Gemma

    Sad to heat this happened to Thandie Newton but glad she spoke up about it. So sick to think this happens but I know it happens more than we can imagine. Hope we get the perv’s name who did this but she seems like to classy of a gal to call him out in public and I hope her hubby beat the living crap of the guy!!!

  • QuietUk

    John Duigan’s mail box must be overflowing with erotic, photos from women who want to escape from stacking shelves or working at mac Donalds.

    if i didn’t have a penis. :(

  • KatarinaJ

    actors kiss, do nudity, sexual simulation as part of their job which is not the case in other industries. and she was Ina professional setting as a young person. not disputing some unorthodox activities by so called established professionals in a business new to her and her her young opinions. u are over simplifying and attacking her. I work int his business, u have no idea how unlike the rest of the world it can be. and yes actresses have gotten their starts and made careers on this kind of thing. it is sad but true. your response was so hostile.

    • missmissy

      The fact is too that even if a casting couch incident doesn’t occur, women’s sexuality is what sells films. Yes this whole thing is disgusting, but that is why women are cast in most of the profitable films produced. Do we really believe that Transformers would have had two sequels if there was no sexy half dressed female lead? Women are exploited at every level of the process. Not judging them, but I think most know it and gladly take those opportunities just for the chance of doing something with substance… that or just for the money.

  • rudy

    Bravo Thandie for having the courage to tell your story.

    @Zitch – Thumbs down to all you haters who are blaming the victim. If a woman gets raped, did she ask for it just because she wore a skirt? If a woman decides to put up with a rape so she doesn’t get killed, does that make her a slut? If a young naive actress goes to a screening and does what she is asked to do does that makes her a slut? BTW: Most people in this world do not have the choice to just ‘walk away’ from a potential job.

    sorry, I’m blathering. I don’t know who the male/female directors were but I do know that what goes around comes around. Hopefully their karma went right back at them.

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