Veteran actress Joan Collins has taken exception to Thandie Newton's claims she was exploited by a director as she was starting out in the movie business, insisting it is "part of growing up".

The Crash star revealed earlier this year (13) she had been taken advantage of during early casting calls when she was a teenager keen to land her big break.

Newton told, "When I was a 16 year old, fresh from boarding school, going out in, you know the casting couch, I was definitely objectified to an extreme. The way I was made to feel. The way I was exploited and the kind of role and the kinds of things I was expected to do in auditions. One director asked me to sit with my legs apart - the camera was positioned where it could see up my skirt - to put my leg over the arm of the chair..."

During an interview with Britain's Daily Express, Collins was told of Newton's comments and allegedly responded, "Sexually exploited? Do me a favour. Exploited is being a child sex slave, not being whistled at or chatted up or hassled. It is part of growing up, something that your parents don't tell you about.

"When my sister was 13 and I was 17 we were followed in Cannes all over the streets by a very famous film star trying to chat us up. Just remember, girls, that you have the power. Not the men."