Sherrie Hewson says she was sexually assaulted by film director when she was 21

·Contributor
·3-min read
Sherrie Hewson has revealed she was sexually assaulted during the early part of her acting career. (Matt Crossick/PA Wire)
Sherrie Hewson has revealed she was sexually assaulted during the early part of her acting career. (Matt Crossick/PA Wire)

Actor and former Loose Women panellist Sherrie Hewson has revealed she was sexually assaulted by a film director early on in her career.

The 70-year-old said she had been emboldened to speak out by the Me Too movement, which has led to real consequences for predators within the entertainment industry.

Read more: Claire King reveals she walked out of inappropriate casting sessions

Hewson told the Sunday Mirror she was just 21 years old and a drama student at RADA in London when the assault took place.

She said she was initially in a car with the "very famous director" and three other friends but, when the friends left, he suggested he take Hewson for dinner.

Hewson enjoyed her time at the restaurant with the man, but said she was surprised when he drove her to his house and invited her in for coffee.

Watch: Ruth Bader Ginsburg says every woman of her age affected by Me Too

Hewson said she asked the man for lemonade but he gave her Pernod instead — an aniseed liqueur with an alcohol content of around 45% ABV — and she became "dizzy".

She said the director then suggested she sleep on his sofa as he had now drunk wine and was not able to drive.

Read more: Hewson criticises Ringo Starr over Loose Women appearance

Hewson said: "I took my dress off and I was in my bra and knickers on the couch with the duvet, lights out, end of story.

“Within minutes, he burst into the room naked and, for the next hour, he chased me. 

"It sounds funny, but he chased me up and down the house, in and out of doors, in and out of wardrobes, everything you can imagine. I just ran for my life.”

Sherrie Hewson, pictured in 1971, says she was assaulted when she was a 21-year-old student at RADA. (Jack Kay/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Sherrie Hewson, pictured in 1971, says she was assaulted when she was a 21-year-old student at RADA. (Jack Kay/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Hewson said he eventually told her to "get out before I get up in the morning" and she fled in the middle of the night, never telling anyone about the incident because she was "ashamed".

“Now, I’d confront him and cut his balls off," she said. "But then, I was 21 going on 15. In those days, it didn’t occur to you to tell people or to inform people.”

Read more: Kathy Bates says "times were different" before Me Too

Hewson said the Me Too movement has changed things for women around predatory men in the industry who target "the sweet girls that are coming up".

She added: "I was frightened, but we’re not afraid any more. That’s what #MeToo has done. 

"These guys now lose their jobs. There is a consequence to the actions. There never used to be.”

Sherrie Hewson had a spell on 'Coronation Street' in the 1990s, in which her character married Reg Holdsworth, played by Ken Morley. (Malcolm Croft/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sherrie Hewson had a spell on 'Coronation Street' in the 1990s, in which her character married Reg Holdsworth, played by Ken Morley. (Malcolm Croft/PA Images via Getty Images)

Hewson's career began in the 1970s, with one of her most high-profile gigs as part of the Carry On team from 1975's Carry On Behind

She was a comedy stalwart throughout the 1980s, including a major role in sitcom In Loving Memory alongside Thora Hird.

Read more: Hewson quit online dating after receiving lewd photos

She joined the cast of Coronation Street as Maureen Webster from 1993 until 1997, returning for a two-episode stint in 2006, and has also appeared in Crossroads and Emmerdale

Hewson had a leading role in the comedy series Benidorm and was a panellist on Loose Women from 2003 until she decided to leave in 2016.

Watch: Vanessa Kirby says industry changed immediately after Me Too

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