Dame Joan Collins dismisses son's Anthony Newley ‘paedophile' claims
Dame Joan Collins has hit back following her son Sacha Newley’s claim that Anthony Newley – her ex-husband and his father – was a “paedophile”.
The actress’ daughter Tara has also spoken out against her brother, and said she is “deeply upset” by his allegations against their late father.
Artist Sacha told The Sunday Times: “He was a paedophile. My father was drawn to youthfulness; he thought innocence was an aphrodisiac.
“That was his sexual proclivity and it’s a very dangerous, destructive thing.”
Dame Joan, 84, said in a statement: “As far as I’m concerned this is absolutely untrue. I have nothing further to add.”
Tara, 54, said: “I was shocked by my brother’s comments in today’s papers.
“From my end, I don’t recognise the man he is describing. I had an incredibly close relationship with my father and am deeply upset by these false allegations.”
Actor and singer-songwriter Newley, who died aged 67 in 1999 following a battle with cancer, was Dame Joan’s second husband.
They were married in 1963 but divorced seven years later.
Sacha, 52, told the newspaper that he believes his father’s 1969 film Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe And Find True Happiness? was “a confession of paedophilia”.
Anthony directed and starred in the film as the leading character Merkin, while Dame Joan played the female lead Polyester Poontang.
Sacha – who is set to release Unaccompanied Minor, a memoir based on his childhood – and Tara appeared in the film as their children.
Sacha said the film’s character Mercy Humppe was “the ‘perfect childlover’ – an underage girl”.
He added: “My mother was destroyed by that film: it was the end of their marriage.
“My father was a great, flawed talent. He was a classic sex addict.”
Of his upbringing, Sacha – who has previously discussed his strained relationship with his mother – said: “It was Hollywood and all the people were beautiful and gorgeous, wafting in and out of parties.
“My father put sex front and centre. He exposed me to all of that – it was absolutely inappropriate.”
Anthony was best known for his musical efforts, which included co-writing hit songs Feeling Good and James Bond theme tune Goldfinger, and for co-writing and starring in hit musicals Stop The World – I Want To Get Off and The Roar Of The Greasepaint – The Smell Of The Crowd.
He and his songwriting partner Leslie Bricusse were nominated for an Oscar for their film score of 1971 film Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory.
His acting roles included parts in the 1948 film version of Oliver Twist and in 1967 film Dr Dolittle.