Thandie Newton who will be starring as Maeve Millay in HBO’s new sci-fi series Westworld, revealed in a deeply personal interview with W magazine this week that she was a victim of sexual assault while on an audition early in her acting career when she was only 18. Newton’s personal story adds to a slew of other allegations regarding young actors in Hollywood who had to deal with horrific ‘casting couch’ situations.
The now 43-year-old actress told W:
“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. 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 mention the director’s name, but later in the interview she dropped an even bigger bombshell regarding her past assault. Years later while attending the Cannes Film Festival with her husband, a drunk producer came up to her saying that he saw her recently. Newton continued, “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.”
Newton described herself back then as naive, but now wants to be vocal about Hollywood’s problem when it comes to taking advantage of young actors. Newton claims that a lot of actors don’t want to come forward because they could potentially lose work, but Newton explains why she came out about her past, hoping that if “one person reads this it will stop them from potentially getting sexually abused by a director.”