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Jane Seymour’s Kiwi confession

Jane was "completely overwhelmed" by her New Zealand trip. But she reveals a dark and disturbing Hollywood secret.

If anyone knows just how much of a rollercoaster life can be, it’s Jane Seymour.

She’s been married four times – her third husband leaving her practically bankrupt – and has recently told of a hideous sexual assault at the beginning of her career, at the hands of a producer.

But it’s an impossibly positive, radiant and elegant Jane Seymour who greets the Weekly on a summer’s afternoon in Auckland. After a quick photo shoot atop the city’s Sky Tower with the majestic Hauraki Gulf spreading out behind her, the legendary actress sits down to talk about her latest projects, her whirlwind trip Down Under, the state of affairs in Hollywood following Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace, and the #metoo movement that’s sweeping the world.

“It was very unfortunate that it happened to me a very long time ago and it happens to a lot of people,” she says of her horrific experience in which a producer placed his hand on her thigh “in the wrong place” and told her “you know what to do” if she wanted the part.

Jane and partner David, pictured last June, travelled together to Aotearoa

“If everyone hides it and people around you don’t protect you from it, then what are you supposed to do?”

While the experience affected Jane profoundly – she gave up acting for a year because of it – she was even more shocked to discover a similar incident had happened to her son Sean Flynn, who was drugged and groped at a music industry party.

“He was doing a rock music video for an amazing Australian group called The Braves – he shot this fantastic video. He told me, when he was 20 years old, that he went to an event and a publicist tried to rape him – a man and my son isn’t gay. He was saved by a friend. But it’s everywhere.”

Happy to be away from Tinseltown for a few weeks, Jane says she’s been completely overwhelmed by New Zealand and the welcome she’s received on her trip – her first ever.

Accompanied by her partner, film director David Green, she’s enjoyed a helicopter ride over the gulf, a traditional marae welcome in Rotoitoi and plenty of incredible dinners at Auckland’s SkyCity.

“I don’t want to leave!” she says in her soft, still-British accent, gazing out at the view from The Sugar Club, Peter Gordon’s flagship restaurant that sits on the 56th level.

“I’ve really had the most amazing time. The Maori cultural experience took my breath away. I had my life story designed in Maori art, which was just fantastic and has really inspired my own art.”

While she’s as busy as ever as an actress, Jane has added jewellery designer to her CV, with her Two Hearts range selling globally. As she talks, she absentmindedly fiddles with her own necklace, a Two Hearts piece that was designed with her beloved mother firmly in mind.

“My mother survived World War II in a Japanese internment camp in Indonesia and when I was growing up, she wouldn’t talk about that, but she would talk about challenge.

The actress’ Two Hearts range (right and inset) is inspired by her mother’s experiences and lessons on life, and is now sold all over the world.

You know, in life everyone will have a challenge and when you do, you close off your heart. If you keep it inside, it’ll eat you alive. If you can accept what’s happened, open your heart and reach out to help other people, love will come in your life.

“I interpreted that as two open hearts that are connected, and I trademarked it, and I now own the copyright globally. Apparently, no-one managed to copyright anything to do with a heart for centuries!”

It’s been an unusual career move, the former Bond girl nods – “I never in a million years thought I’d be designing jewellery!” – and she’s had to balance it with dozens of film and television roles. At this present moment, she has no less than seven projects in the pipeline.

“I got offered another movie a few days ago,” she smiles.

“I’m busier than I ever have been. I don’t know why. I’m really fortunate! I have more work than I have time for. I think it happens when you don’t try.”

But for now, with precious few hours left in New Zealand before she heads home to Malibu, Jane, who promises she’ll be back to explore more of the country, says she plans to enjoy the rest of her trip to the full.

“I still have to pinch myself sometimes – this is unreal,” she grins, gesturing around.

“I’ve had an amazing time!”

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