Los Angeles, March 24 (IANS) Actress Thandie Newton’s decision to go public with her sexual abuse story cost her relationship with her parents “for a decade”.
The 47-year-old actress became one of the faces of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements after revealing she had suffered abuse during an audition with a male director when she was just 18 years old, reports aceshowbiz.com.
“I’d been called back for a second audition. The director asked me to sit with my legs apart; the camera was positioned where it could see up my skirt,” she told Britain’s The Times newspaper of the incident.
She added: “He asked me to put my leg over the arm of the chair and 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. He was a director. I was still very young and thought it must be normal.”
Years later, Newton discovered that the director, who she has never named, used the audition tape as entertainment during his late night dinner parties.
And while the majority of people praised the actress for coming forward with her experience in a bid to lift the lid on what happens on the casting couch, two people who were less than impressed were her parents — Nyasha and Nick.
“It was awful for them and it robbed me of my relationship with my parents for a decade,” she said.
Even though disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, one of the main power players outed as a sexual abuser, has been sentenced to 23 years in prison, Newton still doesn’t feel vindicated.
“He is just one person. This business preys on young people. I saw it everywhere,” she said.
“What I’m crying about now, it’s not about the sexual abuse I endured, it’s about the people who didn’t have the courage to protect me, who
didn’t listen to me. They are the people who need to be held to account. All those people around Weinstein … it’s the rape culture, the climate of silencing, that is what once destroyed me and what now fires me up.”