Thandie Newton tells of audition trauma in casting couch sleaze warning


Actress Thandie Newton has recalled a traumatic audition when a director asked her to touch herself while he filmed up her skirt.

The British star said she was "naive" when the incident happened at the start of her career, and it later emerged the film-maker - who she did not name - had been showing the footage to his friends.

Thandie, 43, who starred in Mission: Impossible II and the Oscar-winning film Crash, said she hoped speaking about the experience would protect at least one person from being sexually abused in the film industry.

Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton (Ian West/PA)

In an interview with W Magazine, she said: "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."

Thandie, a mother-of-three, said she was approached years later at a film festival by a drunk producer, who said: "Oh, Thandie, I've seen you recently!" before he "lurched away looking really shocked".

Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton (Nina Prommer/AP)

After her husband approached the man to explain his comments, it emerged the director had been showing the audition tape to his friends after poker games at his home and "they would all get off on it", Newton said.

She added: "I was so so naïve when I started out and I realise now that we have to prepare our kids ... One person will read this and it will stop them getting sexually abused by a director. That's the person I'm interested in."