The former Dynasty star made the revelation during an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, and said her attacker was "not a theatrical person", but declined to give any more details.

When asked why she had kept quiet about suffering such a serious sexual assault, she said she felt it was her fault, and added, "It screwed up my life, definitely."

During the interview, she told the reporter that she had managed to avoid rape several more times during the 1970s. "I sharpened my conversational ability - so men didn't think they could take advantage of me in any way," she explained.

"I had a £5 note sewn into the lining of my coat and that was my getaway money. I can remember avoiding rape several times and a couple of times not."

When asked to clarify her comments, she said, "No, I will, for my own brain, be more specific and say once, and it was the very early 70s. And that is fact."

The 69-year-old actress, who also starred in the Marlon Brando film The Nightcomers in 1971, said being raped destroyed the relationship she was in at the time.

Adding that she had become resilient since the attack, she said, "It doesn't matter. The person I'm talking about - I hardly know that it's me. I've had so many traumas since, I sometimes feel I'm this wonderful vase that if you drop it it'll bounce because there's so much Araldite (adhesive) on it."

Stephanie starred opposite fellow Brit Joan Collins in the 1980s glamorous series Dynasty, and its spin-off The Colbys.

She also played a rich socialite in the World War Two drama series Tenko and appeared on UK reality show Celebrity Big Brother in 2010.