Thandie Newton Told Her Daughters That She Was Sexually Assaulted as a Teen

Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Thandie Newton revealed in a new interview that she recently spoke to her kids about being sexually abused when she was a teen. Newton, 44, shares daughters Ripley, 16, and Nico, 12, and son Booker, 2, with her film writer–director husband Ol Parker.

"I told them that the first time I ever had any sexual encounter, it was abuse. Eventually, my 12-year-old stopped me and said, 'Mum, don't worry. I am way cooler than you were at my age,'" the Westworld actress told The Edit.

"Do you ever contribute to [the blog] Everyday Sexism?" she added to the publication. "I want to, but I'd have to do it endlessly; I'd have to do it about so many people I work with." (The Everyday Sexism Project was created in 2012 to document examples of sexism around the world.)

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Back in July, the British actress revealed that a much older director took advantage of her during an audition when she was 16. "A director, on a callback, had a camera shooting up my skirt and asked me to touch my t-ts and think about the guy making love to me in the scene," she recalled to W magazine at the time. "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."

Years later, Newton found out that the producer had kept the tape for private use. Another producer led her to the discovery when he told her — drunkenly — at a film festival that he had seen the clip recently. "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," she told W.

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The Rogue star told The Edit that she speaks about "misogyny endlessly because it's part of everything."

"I have learned that in organizations where young people are unsupervised, there is more infrastructure to protect perpetrators of abuse than there is to protect the children. And I have been through so many of those institutions, whether schools or film sets," she said. "Yes, it is terrifying, but it's more terrifying when we don’t speak about it. There’s such a huge gap between what’s presented to us as the thing, and what the thing really is."

Long before having that difficult discussion with her children, Newton explained what sex was to her eldest, Ripley.

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"I said, 'Daddy has a beautiful penis, which enters Mama, and these two precious parts of us join together,'" Newton told The Edit. "A few days later, Ripley came home from school, saying, 'Mummy, I had to tell Don he was wrong today. Don said sex is when a man makes his willy go really hard and then beats the woman with it.'"

She quipped: "Lucky I got to her first."

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