British actress Joan Collins disagrees with her son’s claims that his late father was a child molester.
Collins’ son, Sacha Newley, recently said his father — Joan’s ex-husband Anthony Newley — was a pedophile.
“My father was drawn to youthfulness, he thought innocence was an aphrodisiac,” the 52-year-old artist told The Sunday Times.
As an example of his father’s alleged proclivities, Sacha referenced one of Anthony’s movies, the 1969 X-rated musical film (Editor’s Note: This link may be NSFW) “Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?,” which starred Anthony as the titular Heironymus Merkin — an internationally known singer who recounts his promiscuous relationships with an adolescent named Mercy Humppe in front of his wife (played by Collins) and his two children (played by Sacha and Tara Newley).
“[That film was] a confession of pedophilia,” Sacha told The Times. He compared his father to director Roman Polanski and Polanski’s 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.”
In response, Collins appeared on the British daytime talk show “Good Morning Britain” to reject the allegations.
“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. Not children by any means,” Collins said.
“Never in a million years would I have been married to somebody like that,” the 84-year-old actress said.
“Categorically, I can say that it is not true, that I never saw any of that kind of behavior from Anthony,” she continued, before adding that the accusations have been “very” stressful for her.
The actress’s daughter, Tara Newley, also spoke out against her brother, saying she was “deeply upset” by the claims against their late father, The Independent reports.
“I was shocked by my brother’s comments in today’s papers.
“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,” she said.
Anthony Newley died in 1999 at the age of 67 following a battle with cancer. He and Collins were married from 1963 – 1970.
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