Thandie Newton confesses to an affair at 16 with a much older director

Jun 8, 2011 at 11:29 a.m. ET

Actress Thandie Newton exposed a shocking secret from her past when she admitted to having an affair with her 39-year-old director when she was 16.

thandie newton datingThandie Newton says that when she was 16, she carried on an affair with her director, who was 39 at the time. That director, Newton claims, was John Duigan, who directed her in Flirting. They carried on their romance for six years.

"I was a very shy, very sweet girl," Newton says, looking back. "I wasn't in control of the situation. Would I have liked things to be different? Sure."

She never told her parents about the relationship while it was happening, and she didn't report it to the police.

"I am my own supreme court. I judge that one," she said, regarding the illicit nature of the affair. "And in a strict legal way there might not be a case." Although, Newton says, it was technically legal, because she was 16, she noted, "I was coerced."

As for whether or not she sees herself as a victim of Duigan, Newton says no. "I can now value myself more for the way I got through it. I don't see myself as a victim."

Over the years, the 38-year-old actress has appeared opposite some of Hollywood's hottest leading men, Will Smith, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt among them.

While Duigan remains unmarried and resides in America, Newton has been married to British screenwriter and director Ol Parker since 1998. They have two children, Ripley, 11, and Nico, 7.