Thandie Newton Reveals Sexual Exploitation And Abuse She Received At The Hands Of Casting Director At 16 And 18

February 15, 2013  |  

Source: WENN

While many of us were sipping wine and celebrating love on Valentine’s Day, yesterday was also the day that the One Billion Rising campaign took place. The movement is a call to end violence, specifically against women, and for justice and gender equality. As the website for the campaign says, one and three women will be raped or beaten during her life. And seeing the prevalence of violence against women these days, according to the Huffington Post, about 190 countries took part in rallies where people came out and danced together to show collective support. One person who took part in showing support was actress Thandie Newton, who decided to share her story of the abuse she says she had to deal with as a young woman trying to make it in the entertainment industry.

Speaking with CNN, Newton says, “When I was a 16-year-old fresh from boarding school going out in, you know, the casting couch, I was definitely objectified to an extreme.” And the objectification continued when she turned 18. Newton spoke about an incident where she went to an audition, a second screen test for a movie role, and literally had a camera put up her skirt:

“The director asked me to sit with my legs apart, and the camera was positioned where it could see up my skirt. 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. 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.”

It wasn’t of course. And to Newton’s horror, she later found out during a party at Cannes just a few years ago, which she attended with her husband, producer Oliver Parker, that this same director slimeball had been showing the video at his home during late night gatherings and soirees. “‘It turned out the director… used to show that video late at night to interested parties at his house – a video of me touching myself with a camera up my skirt.” She found out when a drunken producer approached her and told her that he had seen it.

Newton never revealed the name of the producer who did these things to her, and according to Daily Mail UK, didn’t say whether or not he still worked in the business, but the whole ordeal is what pushed her to be involved with One Billion Rising. We know that she’s come a long way, and hopefully other people will be able to learn from her story, and not to let themselves be exploited and disrespected in such a manner when trying to break into the business–any business.

Check out Newton speaking about her ordeal as a young actress with CNN journalist Max Foster below.

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  • Goober

    And how old is she now??? Guess the bank accounts are getting low so she needs some press and personal appearances. When we have life experiences that are harmful to us, we don’t hang on to them once we become adults.

  • notagoodtime


  • notagoodtime

    Some people will do anything for a little but of fame.

  • honest

    i know why Thandie didnt reveal the director’s name…she will be black balled in hollywood forever and worst her families lives will be threatened…that place is noo joke

    • Goober

      They don’t black ball anymore in Hollywood and especially with someone of Color.

  • Dichu eba realy lub mehSteebie

    That’s disgusting. Parents need to teach their children what to look for when going to all these castings and what to do if something like this ever happenes. Do your part parents, please do your part.

    • Honestly

      What if parents don’t even know themselves? I doubt every parent in America has been on a casting couch.

      • Dichu eba realy lub mehSteebie

        But as a parent it is your job to do your research these things before entering your child into this industry

  • Cha Cha

    Unfortunately, this happens more often than not… I remember back in the day when I used to audition all the time, meeting a casting director and I was asked to lift up my skirt… they needed to see what size I was. I was young, and didn’t know if this kind of thing was normal or not… I remember there were two guys there and one guy says “it’s no big deal, he sees this type of thing all the time.” I felt so uncomfortable… Young girls trying to get into the industry do not know any better!

    • Goober

      If you were raised with any sense of morals or decency , you WOULD have known what was right or wrong.


    Every day thang in Follywood…..

  • Sol Rothstein

    This is serious…