Joan Collins is refuting claims made by her son Sacha Newley that her ex-husband (and Sacha’s father) Anthony Newley was allegedly a pedophile.
“Never in a million years would I have been married to somebody like that,” Collins, 84, told Good Morning Britain of the late actor and singer-songwriter, whom she was was married to from 1963 to 1970 and had two children (Sacha and daughter Tara Newley).
“Categorically, I can say that it is not true, that I never saw any of that kind of behavior from Anthony,” she added, explaining that the claims have been “very” stressful for her.
Sacha, 52, made the shocking allegations about Anthony in an interview with The Sunday Times published Nov. 26. “He was a paedophile,” Sasha said. “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.”
Now a painter preparing to release a memoir focused on growing up in Hollywood titled Unaccompanied Minor, Sasha went on to claim that he regularly witnessed sex as a child. “It was Hollywood and all the people were beautiful and gorgeous, wafting in and out of parties. My father put sex front and center. He exposed me to all of that — it was absolutely inappropriate,” Sasha claimed.
One example Sasha gave to back up his claims was his Anthony’s 1969 X-rated musical film Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?, which starred Anthony as Heironymus Merkin — an internationally known singer who recounts his promiscuous relationships with adolescent Mercy Humppe (Playboy playmate Connie Kreski) in front of his wife and two toddlers (played by Collins, Sacha and Tara).
RELATED VIDEO: Why Anthony Rapp Revealed Kevin Spacey’s Alleged Sexual Advances: ‘I Wanted to Shine a Light’
“[That film was] a confession of pedophilia,” Sacha told The Times, comparing his father to director Roman Polanski and his alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977. “Mercy Humppe is the ‘perfect childlover’ — an underage girl. [My dad] didn’t peg her age exactly, but it falls within the Polanski thing.”
The film was so damaging, Sacha claimed it lead to his parent’s messy divorce the following year. “My mother was destroyed by that film: it was the end of their marriage,” Sacha said. “My father was a great, flawed talent. He was a classic sex addict.”
On Good Morning Britain, Collins said that Sacha was off in his interpretation of his father, who died in 1999 at age 67 following a battle with cancer.
“I think that Sacha’s being extremely naive and not really knowing the meaning of that word because what Tony admittedly was, is he loved young women and young women of 17, 18, 19 years old,” she said, The Independent reported. “Not children by any means.”
“As far as I’m concerned this is absolutely untrue,” she added in a statement on Sunday, The Independent reported.
Collins’ daughter Tara, 54, also spoke out against Sacha’s claims. “I was shocked by my brother’s comments,” she said in a statement, The Independent reported. “From my end, I don’t recognize the man he is describing. I had an incredibly close relationship with my father and am deeply upset by these false allegations.”