Watching her on the red carpet, it’s hard to imagine there was ever a time when Thandie Newton wasn’t seen as one of the most beautiful actresses to grace the big screen. But in a recent interview, Thandie opened up on how her insecurities as a teenager caused her heartache at the hands of an older man.

Speaking to InStyle magazine, the actress and Olay spokeswoman opened up about an affair she had with a John Duigan, a Hollywood director 23 years her senior. According to Thandie, the six year affair began when she was just 16. At the time the met, the young actress was auditioning for a role in the movie, Flirting, which starred Nicole Kidman.

Saying she was taken advantage of by the older Duigan, Thandie says her 16 year old self was too young to fully have an equal say in the relationship.

‘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.’

Still, she does not regret the experience saying to some extend it growing past it has helped her become stronger:

‘But I can now value myself more for the way I got through it. I don’t see myself as a victim. Part of me feels grateful I can accept the difficulties that came with that situation and be a more compassionate person myself.’


Often reclusive and shy when it comes to talking about her private life, Thandie says she decided to open up about the affair ‘so teenagers can see they can resist and gain self-awareness’.

When she was asked whether or not she considered pursuing legal action against Duigan, Thandie said:

‘I am my own supreme court. I judge that one. And in a strict legal way there might not be a case.’

Thandie opening up resonates with many women who can see a piece of their story in her own. For many teenagers, falling for an older man and carrying out a relationship with him can prove a confusing and overwhelming experience. Often times, it is only in looking back, do women see the emotional distance and maturity difference that may often contributed to manipulative or destructive partnerships. Still many believe that if they are mature enough, a young woman who consents to a relationship with an older man can have a viable and healthy relationship.

What are your thoughts on Thandie opening up on dating an older man while still a teenager? Can healthy relationships form given the age gap or are the old-young pairings doomed from the start? Tell us what you think Clutchettes- share your thoughts!

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  • KingJason

    So she was 16 and he was damn near 40? And this is how she on…

  • Culturally Aware

    Young-old pairings work best at a certain time in your life. If you are 16 dating a 39 years old or even a 25 year old….it doesn’t make sense, no matter how mature the 16 thinks they are or how young the 25 or 39 year old feels. The huge gap in life experiences is way to big for a relationship to even progress beyond the physical, in my opinion. Someone is doomed to get manipulated in some way…whether consciously or not. I believe life needs to be lived and experiences need to be had before settling in young-old relationship because naivety can make u fall into a trap that is so hard to break away from.

    Look at Jay Z and Beyonce………B fell hard….because she never fell before, supposedly? I wonder what the reality of that pairing is like?

  • Clnmike

    WTF is this? Am I the only one that sees an act that can be viewed as a crime has been committed here? And you all dress it up as innocent young love? Really? There are people doing time for this mess, girls who are put on the track by pimps under the heading of “love” and young girls running around thinking they are “old enough”. This is irresponsible right here on everyone’s part. No part of sugar coating should be given to this. I don’t care if Thandie’s ass was hotter that hell and she was laying down the industry he knew better. If this was R. Kelly they would be trying to castrate him. I thought some one with sense would have been blown up this article by now, GTFOH.

    • B

      I wholeheartedly agree, Clnmike. I am rather disturbed by the title of the post, the rhetoric of the post, and the comments on this thread.

    • TR

      Statutory rape was the first thing I thought of when I heard this revelation. I fail to see how it is “love” when one person has not completed puberty and the other is closing in middle age. Granted, in some states 16 is the legal consenting age. So it may not apply here. But there is still something unsettling about a 39 year old man “dating” a 16 year old girl.

    • “So if I fall for a guy who is seven years older/youngr than me I should ditch him cuz we’re not the same age?”

      If the other party is a minor than HELL yeah you should ditch them and while your at it seek professional counseling on why you are carrying on with a kid before someone gets you. I tell you what let me be the father and find this out, everyone is making the newspaper, me in the front page the offender in the obituaries.This isnt about a legal age adult dating an older man this is about an older man in a relationship with a kid. It dont matter what the hell she thinks she is a kid, they all think there bullet proof and they have all the answers. As adults we know thats NOT the truth so we guide them whether they like it or not. Shit aint cute.

  • MissRae

    It depends on the situation, b/c I have dated older men( no more than 10 yrs than me) and I have had great experiences, but if he is old enough to be my dad, then no, lol

  • Kit

    It’s a bit disturbing how if she had been a few days/ months younger, this article would not have been talking about this as a relationship, but as a paedophile grooming a minor.

    Just because she was a few months into legal territory doesn’t make these type of “relationships” okay… and where were her parents? At 16 years old my parents knew where I was at all times…. ALL TIMES! But then again, I was most probably at home doing my homework at all times, not fraternising with old men.