Dame Judi Dench is torn by the sexual misconduct allegations made against Hollywood actors and producers.

The 'Murder On The Orient Express' star is ''appalled'' by what has happened but admits it is ''very hard'' as some of the people concerned - such as producer Harvey Weinstein - are good friends of hers.

Speaking to Sky News, she said: ''It's very hard when a lot of people concerned are great friends of yours. I feel loyal to them and at the same time I feel appalled by what has happened to a lot of young actresses who had no way of getting out.''

Weinstein - whose company Miramax made Dench's breakout 1997 movie 'Mrs. Brown' - has been accused by over 50 women of sexual misconduct. As a result of the allegations, he has been sacked from The Weinstein Company and has had his membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revoked.

He has also recently been banned from the Producers Guild of America for life and in a statement released at the time, they promised to work on finding solutions to stop this happening in Hollywood.

They said: ''As was recently reported, the Producers Guild's national board of directors voted unanimously to initiate proceedings to terminate the membership of Harvey Weinstein. The PGA constitution requires that members be given 15 days' notice before disciplinary action is taken. The guild has received notice that rather than addressing the guild's charges, Mr. Weinstein elected to resign his membership in the Producers Guild.

''In light of Mr. Weinstein's widely reported behaviour - with new reports continuing to surface even now - the Producers Guild's national board has voted unanimously to enact a lifetime ban on Mr. Weinstein, permanently barring him from PGA membership. This unprecedented step is a reflection of the seriousness with which the Guild regards the numerous reports of Mr. Weinstein's decades of reprehensible conduct.''

Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex made against him.