How Thandiwe Newton endured sexual abuse, racism, an eating disorder and numerous breakdowns | #emailsecurity | #phishing | #ransomware


Thandiwe Newton is said to be heading to rehab amid her split from husband Ol Parker and acrimonious exit from Magic Mike 3.

The Hollywood star, 49. has reportedly been urged to seek mental health support following the break-up of her marriage – and an alleged bust-up with Magic Mike co-star Channing Tatum over Will Smith’s Oscars slap – which she has denied.

The  embattled actress has previously told how she has suffered ‘a number of breakdowns’ in her troubled past, as well as discussing her heartbreaking experiences of sexual abuse, racism and bulimia during her time in the industry.

When she was 16 she was groomed by director John Duigan, who was 39 years old at the time. 

A look back: Thandiwe Newton is said to be heading to rehab amid a reported split from husband Ol Parker (pictured together 2018) and acrimonious exit from Magic Mike 3 – and has spoken previously about her troubled past 

The violations by Duigan lasted five years, two of those years were termed a ‘relationship’ after he sought Newton’s parents’ blessing for her to be his girlfriend when she was 18, while asking her to hide their previous intimacy which began when she was just 16.   

The Bafta-winning actress has said the relationship left her feeling ‘self-destructive’ and said she has only spoken about it ‘so teenagers can see they can resist and gain self-awareness’

Speaking to InStyle magazine, Thandiwe claimed Duigan took advantage of her when she was vulnerable.

Past: The actress has previously told how she has suffered 'a number of breakdowns' as well as discussing her heartbreaking experiences of sexual abuse when she was in her teens (pictured 1991 aged 16)

Past: The actress has previously told how she has suffered ‘a number of breakdowns’ as well as discussing her heartbreaking experiences of sexual abuse when she was in her teens (pictured 1991 aged 16)

She said: ‘I was a very shy, very sweet girl. I wasn’t in control of the situation. Would I have liked things to be different? Sure.

‘But I can now value myself more for the way I got through it. I don’t see myself as a victim.’

‘I was a very shy, very sweet girl. I wasn’t in control of the situation. Would I have liked things to be different? Sure,’ she said to InStyle in a 2011 interview. 

‘But I can now value myself more for the way I got through it. I don’t see myself as a victim. In retrospect, although it was legal because I was 16, I was coerced.’ 

During the first Covid lockdown, she added:  ‘I had a very complicated relationship with sex. It was like I had to give something back for being noticed. Predators and sexual abusers can smell it a mile off.

‘I had a very tough time being a teenager in the film business. It’s not a place for young people unless you have your mum standing by you the whole time and that isn’t possible.’

Film: When she was 16 she was groomed by director John Duigan, who was 39 years old at the time as they filmed 1991's Flirting (Duigan pictured 2004)

Film: When she was 16 she was groomed by director John Duigan, who was 39 years old at the time as they filmed 1991’s Flirting (Duigan pictured 2004)

Thandiwe has spoken of how an unnamed casting director asked her to touch herself on-camera when she was just 18-years-old.

She said: ‘A director, on a callback, had a camera shooting up my skirt and asked me to touch my t**s and think about the guy making love to me in the scene,’ she told W. 

‘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.’ 

But years later, she discovered the unnamed man had kept her tape and was playing it at poker games for other Hollywood elite.

Following the violating discovery, Thandiwe began to fight the abuse and call it out – an act that cost the actress many jobs.  

‘I was very aware of the climate of sexual abuse that was going on around me, so I became the person you didn’t want to hire because I would call it out,’ she told Marie Claire in 2019.

‘In retrospect, I can see many instances where not only would I not be employed, but other actors and actresses would not necessarily want to be associated with me.’ 

‘Probably the worst thing about having your innocence rocked is what stays with you. The sense of worthlessness, shame—these things are very hard to move on from. But you can,’ she told the outlet.   

The star said she terminated a contract with a publicist who begged her to stop talking about being sexually abused because it was ‘not good for your reputation’.   

Thandiwe said she felt ‘scarred by ‘the way I was exploited and the kind of role and the kinds of things I was expected to do in auditions.’ 

She has since revealed she was once told to stop talking about the assault so that it would not affect her job opportunities.

Battle: The Crash star began suffering from bulimia after two damaging relationships in her teens (pictured in 1991 aged 16)

Battle: The Crash star began suffering from bulimia after two damaging relationships in her teens (pictured in 1991 aged 16)

In an interview with Radio Times, the actress revealed how people often felt uncomfortable when she spoke up about her own experience, stating, ‘people didn’t like it one bit’.

The actress, who starred in Line Of Duty’s fourth series, previously praised the BBC drama for tackling dark themes. The series of the hit BBC show was based on an investigation into the cover-up of a sexual abuse at a boys’ home.

Talking to the magazine, she said: ‘I understand that because I’m someone who has spoken out about my abuse [as a very young actress] and people didn’t like it one bit.

‘People have told me to stop and I have felt it did affect whether I was getting employed or not… But I hope that somewhere a mum taking her kid to the set will just be that little bit more aware.’

The star, who is of Zimbabwean and English heritage, has also detailed being subjected to racism, during her career and growing up.

In 2019, after it was revealed that banning natural hairstyles – including braids and cornrows – would be made illegal in New York, the star revealed that nuns at the school in Penzance, Cornwall had once refused to let her be pictured in a class photograph because she was wearing braids.

Taking to Twitter, the star told her 136,000 followers: ‘Take THAT the nuns at my primary school! I wasn’t permitted to have my photo taken on School Photo Day because Mum had given me beautiful rows of braids the night before – specifically to make me look my best. Now hair discrimination is illegal in NYC. Bliss.’

After being born in England, Newton’s family moved to Zambia but returned when the actress was three and settled in England’s south-west.

Her father Nick, an artist, is British; her mother Nyasha is a princess of the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe.

Newton told the Daily Mail previously: ‘Growing up in Penzance, Cornwall, my brother, Jamie, and I were the only black children in the area.’  

She said taunts about the colour of her skin were commonplace, saying: ‘There were the usual cruel names: big ears or big nose. And none of the boys wanted to go out with me.

‘I don’t remember any overt racism, but my mum and I have talked about this and I now know my parents kept us safe from a lot of stuff.’      

The actress also opened up about the difficulties of growing up with a mixed heritage.

She explained: ‘When I was seven, I went to Zimbabwe and was very excited to be there because, when kids in Cornwall teased me about the colour of my skin, I thought to myself ‘I’m Zimbabwean’.

Not to be: Thandiwe has detailed how her battle with bulimia led to her missing out on a role in 2006's Casino Royale (pictured Daniel Craig and Eva Green in the film)

Not to be: Thandiwe has detailed how her battle with bulimia led to her missing out on a role in 2006’s Casino Royale (pictured Daniel Craig and Eva Green in the film)

‘Then on that holiday, a boy and I had a row about something and he said, ‘Go back to England where you belong.’ And I said, ‘I belong here,’ and he said, ‘What do you mean? You’re white”.

Thandiwe has previously claimed she cannot work in her native UK due to the limited roles for black actors in historical dramas.

The Westworld star spoke to the Sunday Times Magazine about how the rise in period dramas has resulted in ‘slim pickings for people of colour’.  

In her candid interview, the esteemed actress admitted such programmes would force her to play the victim of racial abuse, as she drew from British Film Institute research findings, stating that 59% of UK films since 2006 had no black actors.

The London-born star is adamant the rise of shows such as The Crown, Downton Abbey and Victoria – particularly shows about royalty – mean there is little place for ‘people of colour’ due to the inevitable typecasting.

She said: ‘I love being here, but I can’t work, because I can’t do Downton Abbey, can’t be in Victoria, can’t be in Call The Midwife – well, I could, but I don’t want to play someone who’s being racially abused…

‘I’m not interested in that, don’t want to do it… there just seems to be a desire for stuff about the Royal Family, stuff from the past, which is understandable, but it just makes it slim pickings for people of colour.’

In 2020, in an interview with Vulture, Thandiwe claimed she turned down a role in 2000 movie Charlie’s Angels after an alleged awkward interaction with Amy Pascal, who was Sony Pictures co-chairman at the time. 

‘I had a meeting with her, and she said, “Look, I don’t mean to be politically incorrect, but the character as written and you playing the role, I just feel like we’ve got to make sure that it’s believable.” I was like, “What do you mean? What changes would you have to make?”‘ Thandiwe said.  

Racism: The star once revealed she had been banned from a school photograph by the nuns at her primary school because she was wearing 'beautiful rows of braids'

Racism: The star once revealed she had been banned from a school photograph by the nuns at her primary school because she was wearing ‘beautiful rows of braids’

‘She’s like, “Well, you know, the character, as written, she’s been to university and is educated.”‘

The star continued, ‘I’m like, “I’ve been to university. I went to Cambridge.”

‘She went, “Yeah, but you’re different.” She’s like, “Maybe there could be a scene where you’re in a bar and she gets up on a table and starts shaking her booty.”

‘She’s basically reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a Black character.’

Thandiwe said she rejected all the suggestions Pascal made.

‘Everything she said, I was like, “Nah, I wouldn’t do that.” She’s like, “Yeah, but you’re different. You’re different.”

‘That was Amy Pascal. That’s not really a surprise, is it? Let’s face it: I didn’t do the movie as a a result.’ Thandiwe said.

Pascal was fired from Sony Pictures in 2015 after an email hack released numerous emails and exchanges with fellow producer Scott Rudin where they would make racist jokes, including joking about President Barrack Obama’s taste in movies. 

The movie executive said in a statement to Vulture that she was ‘horrified to hear’ of Thandiwe’s recollection of their meeting. 

Family: Thandiwe and Ol share three children Ripley, 21, Nico, 17, and Booker, eight (pictured with her husband and daughters in 2019)

Family: Thandiwe and Ol share three children Ripley, 21, Nico, 17, and Booker, eight (pictured with her husband and daughters in 2019)

‘While I take her words seriously, I have no recollection of the events she describes, nor do any of her representatives who were present at that casting session, 

‘I’ve long considered Thandiwe a friend; I’m thankful that I’ve had the chance to make movies with her; and I hope to work with her again in the future.’   

Thandiwe told Vulture that the other reason she didn’t do Charlie’s Angels was because the director wanted to objectify her in the opening scene.

‘The director said to me, “I can’t wait for this. The first shot is going to be… You’re going to think it’s like yellow lines down a road, and you pull back and you realize it’s the stitching, because the denim is so tight on your ass it’s going to look like tarmac.’ I was like, “Oh, I don’t think we’re going to go down this road together.’ 

The outspoken star has also discussed her battle with eating disorder bulimia ad revealed the scars left by her battle.

‘I’ve still got the scars on my knuckles from where I put my fingers down my throat,’ she said.

The Crash star began suffering from bulimia after two damaging relationships in her teens.

‘I must have been about 14 and was training for my ballet exams,’ she told Easy Living magazine.

‘I ate nothing but cottage cheese. It didn’t seem so strange – my mum was a health visitor so we never had butter in the house, we had Flora.’

The fad became an ‘obsession’ after a relationship with an older man. Newton said: ‘I felt a lot of shame about my sexual relationship with him.

‘We used to go out to dinner all the time and he’d get so excited about eating … and it must have been my way of separating myself from him by becoming bulimic.   

‘I would have dinner with him… and then go back to the flat we were sharing and throw up.’

The actress, who starred in Mission: Impossible II with Tom Cruise, said the second relationship was ’emotionally abusive’ and tipped her over into ‘horrible bulimia for about a year’.

She entered therapy shortly afterwards but continued to ‘control’ her food intake until she was in her late twenties.            

Last year the actress told Vogue magazine: ‘(In 1996) I was lying in bed, so thin, and my heart was beating against my ribcage so hard that I could see it, and my friend Jessica called. I said, ‘Jessica, I’m worried I’m going to die’.’

She eventually sought help and went into therapy.

She has told Vulture: ‘I’ve had a number of breakdowns, I guess. I remember going to the audition for the new Bond movie, the first one with Daniel Craig.

‘I’d just done Crash and yes, I was really hot, and it was my moment. And I remember going into that audition and I was so thin and so messed up.’

Thandiwe missed out on the role in the iconic 2006 film, Casino Royale.

Thandiwe  recently shared a cryptic message about ‘hating women’ as she took to her Instagram Stories to post a picture of vintage lingerie in the wake of her marital split.

The Hollywood star posted the snap of the Zoe Buckman item which was embroidered with the words: ‘Do we hate our women’.  

The lyrics were taken from the late Tupac Shakur’s song Keep Ya Head Up (1993) and also featured the words: ‘I wonder why we take from our women. Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?’

The lingerie Thandiwe shared was taken from Zoe’s Every Curve exhibit (2014) – which explores the contradictory and complementary influences of Feminism and Hip-Hop she recalls from her upbringing.   

Thandiwe’s now-deleted post comes shortly after it was alleged she has separated from her husband and is likely headed to rehab, according to a new report.

The report came four days after Thandiwe denied claims she was sacked from her leading role in Magic Mike 3 over a heated argument with co-star Channing Tatum. She has since been replaced in the role by Salma Hayek.

According to a new report in Page Six, staffers on the movie became worried about her health during filming in London, with her agent flying in from Los Angeles to try and ‘smooth things over’. 

The publication reports that Thandiwe has been suffering with emotional and family problems after separating from her husband Ol, 52, with whom she shares children Ripley, 21, Nico, 17, and Booker, eight.  

Ol is a British filmmaker who previously wrote and directed the 2018 musical film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. 

A source said: ‘Thandiwe had been acting strange on set, she has been very highly strung. Her apparent breakdown caused so much disruption, it became clear she couldn’t play the role.

Claim: In 2020, in an interview with Vulture, Thandiwe claimed she turned down a role in 2000 movie Charlie's Angels after an alleged awkward interaction with Amy Pascal, who was Sony Pictures co-chairman at the time (pictured 2020)

Claim: In 2020, in an interview with Vulture, Thandiwe claimed she turned down a role in 2000 movie Charlie’s Angels after an alleged awkward interaction with Amy Pascal, who was Sony Pictures co-chairman at the time (pictured 2020) 

Interaction: Thandiwe recalled meeting she had with Pascal where she was 'reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a Black character.' Pascal is pictured here with Greta Gerwig in January 2020)

Interaction: Thandiwe recalled meeting she had with Pascal where she was ‘reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a Black character.’ Pascal is pictured here with Greta Gerwig in January 2020)

Comment: Thandiwe recalled to Vulture the other reason she didn't do Charlie's Angels was because the director wanted to objectify her in the opening scene. Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu are seen here in a promotional shot for the 2000 movie

Comment: Thandiwe recalled to Vulture the other reason she didn’t do Charlie’s Angels was because the director wanted to objectify her in the opening scene. Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu are seen here in a promotional shot for the 2000 movie

‘There is a lot going on in her personal life, she and her husband have separated. She seemed so stressed she even brought her two pet rabbits to her hotel for emotional support.’

A Warner Bros. Pictures spokesperson previously said of her departure from the movie: ‘Thandiwe Newton has made the difficult decision to step away from the production of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance to deal with family matters.’ 

The insider added that Thandiwe fired her UK agent of three decades as her US  agent Gaby Morgerman flew in to try to help.

Gaby is considered one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, representing stars including Matthew McConaughey and Minnie Driver over her thirty year career at powerhouse agency William Morris.

Thandiwe has reportedly fired her UK team at London based agency Independent Talent Group in recent weeks.

The insider said of her next steps: ‘Thandiwe’s team wants her to go to rehab for mental health support.

She was supposed to leave immediately for a facility, they tried for a Malibu rehab, but they couldn’t take her. Arrangements are now being made to go to a facility in Arizona, if she agrees to go.’  

MailOnline contacted representatives of Thandiwe Newton for comment. 

Thandiwe exited Magic Mike’s Last Dance after 11 days of filming with Channing due to a ‘family matter’.

Report: It was claimed the alleged argument between Thandiwe and Channing was 'unimaginably vicious' (Channing pictured centre in Magic Mike, 2012)

Report: It was claimed the alleged argument between Thandiwe and Channing was ‘unimaginably vicious’ (Channing pictured centre in Magic Mike, 2012)

Recast: Thandiwe's role in the film will now reportedly be played by Salma Hayek (pictured in February)

Recast: Thandiwe’s role in the film will now reportedly be played by Salma Hayek (pictured in February) 

Last week The Sun reported the alleged argument between Thandiwe and Channing, which was said to be ‘unimaginably vicious’, was over Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. 

A Warner Bros. Pictures spokesperson said: ‘Thandiwe Newton has made the difficult decision to step away from the production of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance to deal with family matters.’ 

The statement comes after insiders told The Sun that Thandiwe is planning on suing studio chiefs at Warner Bros over the incident.

The argument reportedly took place on location in Paddington and culminated with Channing driving off set in his car.

A source said: ‘Channing Tatum is the producer and number one on set. Thandiwe Newton is the number two star. But 11 days into shooting and it’s all over.

‘They fell out over the debacle at The Oscars. I was on set. I watched her and watched him. They were in and out of the house where we were filming having this confrontation.

‘After the row he just went, ‘I am not working with her anymore’. Him being a producer, it’s his movie, so she’s off the movie.’  

Love: The actress has said she fell in love with her husband Ol at first sight, dumping her boyfriend at the time to be with him when they met in 1997(pictured in 2019)

Love: The actress has said she fell in love with her husband Ol at first sight, dumping her boyfriend at the time to be with him when they met in 1997(pictured in 2019)

The source added that all scenes filmed with Thandiwe will now have to be reshot with Salma while the film’s director Steven Soderbergh reportedly didn’t take a side in the argument.  

A spokesperson for Thandiwe told MailOnline: ‘This report is completely inaccurate.’ 

The original Magic Mike movie premiered in 2012 and was loosely based on Channing’s experience working as a stripper in Tampa, Florida. A sequel followed in 2015. 

Channing confirmed that he would reprise his role for Magic Mike’s Last Dance in November on 2021. 

The film is set to premiere exclusively on HBO Max. The release date has yet to be announced. 

In a recent interview with PEOPLE he spoke about the importance on the movie having a lead female character.

‘I want to have an equal, if not even more centralized female character for Mike to really play off of and almost to… I don’t want to say, [to have her] take the baton, but really let the movie be about a female’s experience and not Mike’s experience, because it has been so much about Mike and the guys’ experiences.

‘These movies are very, very female-forward. At least that is our intention.’    

She has said she fell in love with her husband Ol at first sight, dumping her boyfriend at the time to be with him when they met in 1997. At the time Ol was a screenwriter and had penned In Your Dreams, which featured the actress.

‘It’s very unusual to have writers around on set because directors don’t want them there. But they love having Ol around. He was on set every day and I fell madly in love with him,’ she told InStyle Magazine.

‘I’d never experienced that before. Up until then, my relationships had always been more based on people wanting to be with me. When I met Ol, I was dating a really sweet, lovely man and I had to leave him straight away, even though I wasn’t even going out with Ol’.

‘But as soon as I met Ol, it kind of cut off any other blood vessels to anywhere else. We got married about two years later.’

She went on to marry Ol in 1998, with the actress gushing in a 2016 interview about their home life with their three children that the director is ‘Soooo calm.’   

‘And we laugh, because I take the p**s out of him,’ she added at the time. ‘You know: shoulder-shrugging: ‘It’s OK, babe.’ And he takes the p**s out of my … What would you describe it as? Highly emotional. As I’m thinking, the words will come. I don’t stop and think.’      

The star has previously been open about subscribing to the The Hoffman Process, a form of therapy also embraced by the likes of Katy Perry and Sienna Miller. Retreats and courses help attendees ‘unlearn’ negative behaviors and thereby begin a journey of ‘self-understanding’.

Justin Bieber described his experience of The Hoffman Process in a 2019 Vogue interview, explaining: ‘You sit on a mat, you put a pillow down, and you beat your past out of it. I beat the fact that my mom was depressed a lot of my life and my dad has anger issues. Stuff that they passed on that I’m kind of mad they gave me’. 

Family: She went on to marry Ol in 1998, with the actress gushing in a 2016 interview about their homelife with their three children that the director is 'Soooo calm' (pictured with two of their children Ripley and Nico in 2016)

Family: She went on to marry Ol in 1998, with the actress gushing in a 2016 interview about their homelife with their three children that the director is ‘Soooo calm’ (pictured with two of their children Ripley and Nico in 2016)

In a revealing interview in 2021, Thandiwe revealed that she was becoming disillusioned with acting, telling Vogue UK: ‘I find that acting takes more and more away from me, because I’m more connected to myself than I’ve ever been, whereas before I was delighted to get an excuse to go off to another personality.’

‘I couldn’t wait to get away from myself, truly, I had such low self-esteem. Acting was where I felt whole.’ 

The actress was previously credited as Thandie Newton before she reverted to the original spelling of her name three decades after it was misspelled in her first film.

She revealed that Thandie was a careless misspelling in the credits of her first movie – the 1991 Australian film Flirting, co-starring Nicole Kidman and Noah Taylor – and it has stuck ever since. 

‘That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine,’ she told British Vogue in April 2021. 

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

From a Cornwall upbringing to  a Hollywood star: Thandiwe’s 30-year career and 24-year marriage 

Born in London, Newton grew up in Penzance, Cornwall, where her parents – her dad is white British, her mother black, from Zimbabwe – sent her to a Catholic school. 

She said of her school years: ‘I was aware that I didn’t fit. I was the black, atheist kid in the all-white, Catholic school run by nuns’.

She went on to study at Cambridge University, where she read anthropology.

Her screen career began as a teenager with the 1991 film Flirting marking her debut. 

At just 22 she appeared in major movie Interview With A Vampire, opposite To Cruise and Brad Pitt.  She later reunited with Cruise in the 2000 movie Mission Impossible 2. 

Newton’s early acting years were marked with sexual abuse. When she was 16 she was groomed by director John Duigan, who was 39 years old at the time. 

The violations by Duigan lasted five years, two of those years were termed a ‘relationship’ after he sought Newton’s parents’ blessing for her to be his girlfriend when she was 18. 

Two years after meeting Duigan, at the age of 18, another director told the actress to intimately touch herself during an audition. Newton obliged, as there was also a female casting director present.

But years later, she discovered the unnamed man had kept her tape and was playing it at poker games for other Hollywood elite.

Following the violating discovery, Thandiwe began to fight the abuse and call it out – an act that cost the actress many jobs.  

Alongside her movie career she’s had long-running roles in the likes of ER and her lead part in Westworld.  

 She met husband Ol in 1997 and said it was love at first sight. 

At the time Ol was a screenwriter and had penned In Your Dreams, which featured the actress.

‘He was on set every day and I fell madly in love with him,’ she told InStyle Magazine.

‘When I met Ol, I was dating a really sweet, lovely man and I had to leave him straight away, even though I wasn’t even going out with Ol’.

‘But as soon as I met Ol, it kind of cut off any other blood vessels to anywhere else.’

She went on to marry Ol in 1998. The couple share three children: Ripley, 21, Nico, 17, and Booker, eight.

The actress was previously credited as Thandie Newton before she reverted to the original spelling of her name three decades after it was misspelled in her first film.

She revealed that Thandie was a careless misspelling in the credits of her first movie – the 1991 Australian film Flirting, co-starring Nicole Kidman and Noah Taylor – and it has stuck ever since. 

‘That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine,’ she told British Vogue in April 2021. 



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