Film legend Peter O'Toole has leaped to the defence of his VENUS co-star Vanessa Redgrave's controversial politics, insisting her "loathing of injustice" should be respected.

While the LAWRENCE OF ARABIA star admits his views clash with Redgrave's left-wing politics, he holds deep admiration for the HOWARD'S END actress' sense of right and wrong.

He says, "Great woman. She get slagged off by everybody, which is not on.

"I don't think I share one of her political opinions, except her loathing of injustice.

"She's a divine actress - she plays my wife in this (VENUS) and she's something really special."