The scandal hit headlines last year (14) when cyber criminals infiltrated the company's database and stole reams of private information, including emails which revealed stars' salary details.

Among the revelations was the gender pay gap on Oscar-nominated movie American Hustle, with emails suggesting the film's female stars, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams, were paid significantly less than the male actors.

Byrne, who has founded an all-female film production company, has now declared the hacking could actually benefit Hollywood because it has turned the spotlight on problems facing women in Tinseltown and prompted a probe by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

She tells, "The statistics are still so dreadful for women in film. Now the ACLU is doing an investigation into it because they're starting to realise it's actually discrimination - it's not just good ol' fashioned misogyny that everyone's quietly tolerated for years. The business is sort of the wrong way in the sense that the statistics are just really dreadful for women in terms of speaking parts and pay cheques for women. All that stuff that was leaked through the Internet when Sony was hacked - it all speaks for itself. So, it is beyond just misogyny. It's legitimate discrimination based on gender, which is illegal. Any discrimination is, whether it's sexuality, race or gender."