Thandie Newton is speaking out decades later about a skeevy director who sexually abused her during an audition then had nerve to show the tape to others in the industry at his home years later!
In an interview on CNN Thursday, actress Thandie Newton spoke out about an abusive casting director who exploited her when she was just 18.
Newton described the “horrific” incident as an example of the pervasive sexism in the film industry, sharing her story to support the One Billion Rising project, a worldwide campaign founded by playwright Eve Ensler that protests violence against women.
The British actress, then at the beginning of her career, was at a screen test for a project when the casting director began acting inappropriately.
Because of the professional environment and her inexperience in the industry, Newton said, she was confused about how to respond.
“The director asked me to sit with my legs apart, and the camera was positioned where it could see up my skirt,” Newton, 40, told CNN’s Max Foster.
“[He asked me 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.”
The director then asked Newton to touch herself and zoomed in between her legs. Another female director in the room did nothing to intervene, Newton said.
Newton later discovered that the director was circulating the video among other industry moguls, showing interest parties the exploitative clip for entertainment. A producer at Cannes Film Festival boasted to Newton and her husband, Oliver Parker, about having seen the footage.
Though Newton declined to name the director, she noted that it was only the most extreme incident in a long chain of uncomfortable situations.
“I was definitely objectified to an extreme,” Newton explained.
The star told Foster that she had been scarred deeply by “the way I was exploited and the kind of role and the kinds of things I was expected to do in auditions.”
“It’s really bizarre that violence against women isn’t a number one priority,” the ‘Good Deeds’ actress noted.
Newton isn’t the only celebrity speaking out for One Billion Rising this week.
Newton joined One Billion Rising in a flash mob protest outside of British Parliament on Valentine’s Day, an event that marked the 15th anniversary of the group’s founding. Other factions of the organization gathered Thursday in some 200 countries including Ethiopia, Nepal, Afghanistan, India and Congo as part of a global day of action.
This isht is just crazy! Can you imagine going through something like that only to discover the person was continuing to exploit you years later with no shame! She should have sued him.