Thandie Newton: 'Going public with sexual abuse cost me relationship with my parents'

Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton has claimed she didn't have a relationship with her parents "for a decade" after she went public with her experiences of sexual abuse.

The British actress became one of the faces of the Time's Up and #MeToo movements after revealing she'd suffered abuse during an audition with a male director when she was just 18 years old.

"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 horrific incident. "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 mother-of-three for coming forward with her experience in a bid to lift the lid on what happens on the casting couch, the revelation put a strain on her relationship with her parents, Nyasha and Nick.

"It was awful for them and it robbed me of my relationship with my parents for a decade," the 47-year-old explained.

And even though Harvey Weinstein, one of the main power players outed as a sexual abuser thanks to the movements, was recently 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 insisted. "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."


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