On Westworld, Thandie Newton plays Maeve Millay, a robot who exceeds her programming and launches a personal revolution to free herself from a life of slavery that includes frequent sexual abuse from park visitors. In real life, Thandie is no stranger to sexual assault, having been abused by a Hollywood director, while she was still a young teenager and new to the filmmaking game. Now, Newton is using that experience to teach her own daughters about sex, hoping to make them wary of just how easy it is to be victimized by sexual predators.
Westworld‘s Thandie Newton Uses Her Own History To Educate Her Daughters
New York Daily News shares that Westworld star Thandie Newton is using her own experiences to educate her daughters, 16-year-old Ripley and 12-year-old Nico, about the perils of sex, including how to avoid becoming a victim of sexual abuse and assault. Newton wasn’t timid, telling her daughters that her very first sexual encounter was an incidence of abuse, but Thandie says her daughters weren’t much put off by the confession.
“Eventually, my 12-year-old stopped me and said, ‘Mum, don’t worry. I am way cooler than you were at my age,'” said the Westworld star.
This isn’t the first time Thandie has spoken about the abuse. Just as Westworld premiered, Thandie spoke publicly about a much older Hollywood director pointing a camera up her skirt during an audition.
“(He) asked me to touch my t**s and think about the guy making love to me in the scene,” Newton explained of the incident. “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.”
Newton also says her six year relationship with director John Duigan, who is 23 years older than the Westworld actress, left her feeling victimized as well.
Currently, Thandie Newton is married to director Ol Parker and openly discusses sex and relationship issues with her children.
Thandie Newton Strives To End Misogyny And Hollywood Sexual Abuse
Us Weekly reports that the Westworld actress doesn’t just speak openly about sex in the home, but also does what she can to contribute to causes of feminism. Newton shares her feeling that misogyny and the practice of leaving children unsupervised in the motion picture business contribute to an atmosphere wherein sex offenders are supported by the system. Thandie says the very infrastructure of television and film production has been set up to protect the offender, either purposely or inadvertently, making it that much more daunting for a victim to speak out.
“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,” explains Thandie.
While Ms. Newton recognizes the challenges present in bringing these issues to light, she says she’s far more wary of the danger in allowing the system to go on unchecked the way it is.
“Yes, it is terrifying, but it’s more terrifying when we don’t speak about it,” Newton says. “There’s such a huge gap between what’s presented to us as the thing, and what the thing really is.”
Even before her organized talk with her daughters, Thandie shared that she had explained the mechanics of sex to her oldest daughter, Ripley, describing the act as a beautiful union. The following day, Ripley came home and shared that a classmate, Don, had described the same act as a more adversarial joining with the male beating the female with his penis.
“Lucky I got to her first,” remarked Newton.
Westworld, starring Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, and Ed Harris, is scheduled for a 2018 return on HBO.
[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]