Sacha Newley, pictured, has said his actor father Anthony was a paedophile
The son of Dame Joan Collins and Anthony Newley has said his late father was a ‘paedophile’.
Sacha Newley, 52, claimed that his father’s dark sexual proclivity led to the bitter breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
It comes as the portraitist prepares to release a memoir, entitled Unaccompanied Minor, focusing on his childhood this week.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Sacha bluntly addressed long-circulated rumours about his father’s sexual interests.
‘He was a paedophile. My father was drawn to youthfulness,’ He said. ‘He thought innocence was an aphrodisiac. That was his sexual proclivity and it’s a very dangerous, destructive thing.’
Sacha added that growing up as a child in Hollywood saw him witness sex regularly.
He said: ‘My father put sex front and centre. He exposed me to all of that — it was absolutely inappropriate.’
The artist explained that his father’s X-rated 1969 film, entitled Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?, is a ‘confession of paedophilia’.
The film, written and directed by Anthony and starring himself as Merkin and Collins as his on-screen wife Polyester Poontang. Sacha and his sister Tara, now 54, played the couple’s children.
Sacha, pictured left in 1997, said Anthony, pictured right in 1960, exposed him to sex from a young age
Sacha pictured with his mother Joan Collins at a viewing of his art in 1999
Sacha told The Sunday Times that the film was very autobiographical and that what it revealed about his father caused the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
‘Mercy Humppe is the “perfect child-lover” — an underage girl,’ he said. ‘My mother was destroyed by that film.’
Anthony and Dame Joan, now 84, divorced after a nasty court battle in 1970.
He went on to marry former air hostess Dareth Rich with whom he had two children before they divorced in 1989. Anthony died aged 67 in 1999.
Anthony and Collins pictured together in the early 1960s. Sacha claimed the his father’s dark sexual proclivity led to the bitter breakdown of his parents’ marriage
Collins pictured in 1968 with two-year-old Sacha, right, and his four-year-old sister Tara
Dame Joan married her fifth husband Percy Gibson, 52, in 2002.
Sacha also revealed that he had a strained childhood relationship with his mother, who he claims ‘abandoned’ him and his sister Tara as children.
Yet he admitted that he is troubled by the fact that he is ‘not present’ for his own daughter – 13-year-old Ava Grace.
But he adds that he does not regret it because he believes it is necessary for him to be ‘a fulfilled artist’ which he says is more important for her.