Joan Collins was raped by her first husband Maxwell Reed

Joan Collins on why she ‘married the man who raped her’ at 17 as she appears on Louis Theroux Interviews

She claims he spiked her drink and took her virginity

Dame Joan Collins is the latest celebrity to appear on Louis Theroux Interviews this week, and she’s got a lot of life to cover – starting with her alleged abusive ex-husband Maxwell Reed.

The former Dynasty star has previously revealed that she married the actor after he drugged and raped her, when she was just 17. Shockingly, she has admitted that she ‘hadn’t seen a penis’ until that moment.

She accused the Helen of Troy actor of stealing her virginity, and putting her in the awful position of having to marry him. Here’s what she’s said about her alleged abusive first husband.

Louis Theroux and Joan Collins
Louis Theroux Interviews… Joan Collins (Credit: Mindhouse Productions Ltd/Ryan McNamara)

Who was Joan Collins’ first husband Maxwell Reed?

Dame Joan Collins – who looks INCREDIBLE for her age – married her first husband, Northern Irish actor Maxwell Reed, in 1952. The marriage lasted four years before she divorced him in 1956.

Joan has previously alleged that Maxwell Reed drugged and raped her when she was just 17. She made the allegations in the BBC documentary This is Joan Collins, as well as in her ITV interview with Piers Morgan’s Life Stories. In September 2023, Joan discussed the claims with The Guardian.

She revealed that at the age of 17, still a virgin, she went on a date with the 31-year-old actor Maxwell Reed. Back in his apartment, she claims he raped her after spiking her rum and Coke. She said: “I was 17, but I was the equivalent mentally of 12. We did not have sex education. I never saw a penis until I got raped and then I refused to look at it.”

Astonishingly, Joan Collins went on to marry Maxwell Reed. She explained it was due to her sense of shame: “Yes, because I come from a generation where if you’re going to have sex, you get married.”

However, when she discovered that he was offering her body to older men for £10,000 a night – on the condition that he could watch – she decided to divorce him after four years.

Joan Collin’s first husband Maxwell Reed died from cancer on October 31, 1974, at the age of 55.

How many times has Joan Collins married?

Joan Collins has married five times since the 1950s. After the breakdown of her first marriage to Maxwell Reed, Joan became engaged to actor and director Warren Beatty in 1960. However, their relationship fell apart after Beatty, who had a reputation as a womaniser, was unfaithful to her.

By 1963, Joan had married English singer-songwriter Anthony Newley. Joan and Anthony had a seven-year marriage and two children, Tara and Alexander, before divorcing in 1970.

Wedding bells rang again when Joan Collins married her third husband, American businessman and film producer Ron Kass, three years later in 1973. They share a daughter, Katyana Kennedy Kass.

Joan and Kass’ marriage lasted 10 years until they divorced in 1983. They remained close after their divorce, and Joan provided for his medical care after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. When Kass died aged 51, Joan was reportedly at his bedside.

In 1985, Joan got hitched again in a Las Vegas ceremony, this time to Swedish singer Peter Holm. The marriage lasted only two years before they filed for divorce.

She is now married to her fifth husband, 56-year-old film producer Percy Gibson. Joan and Percy, who is more than 30 years her junior, wed in 2002.

Joan Collins and her first husband Maxwell Reed
Joan Collins and her first husband Maxwell Reed (Credit: Clifford Ling/ANL/Shutterstock)

How many children does Joan Collins have with Maxwell Reed?

Joan Collins has three children from her five marriages, but none with Maxwell Reed. Her daughter, Tara Newley, 57, from her marriage to Anthony Newley is a journalist and writer. Joan’s only son, Alexander Newley (also known as Sacha), 55, is an artist who has created portraits of actors Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh.

Joan’s daughter Katyana Kass (also known as Katie), 49, from her marriage to Ron Kass is an actress. She appeared in Peter Sellers’ film The Optimist of Nine Elms aged just one year old.

Louis Theroux Interviews Joan Collins

In season two of Louis Theroux Interviews, the documentary-maker chats to boxer Anthony Joshua, singer Pete Doherty, actress Dame Joan Collins, singer RAYE, whistleblower Chelsea Manning, and actor Ashley Walters.

In episode 3 (Tuesday, November 21 2023), Louis travels to the French Riviera to spend time with veteran actress Joan Collins at her secluded villa near Saint-Tropez.

During the interview, Joan reflects on her triumphs, setbacks and experiences of a toxic entertainment industry. She also discusses her relationships with sister Jackie and her husband of 20 years Percy, and how she is still affected by harsh public criticism.

Read more: Joan Collins, 90, stuns fans with white bikini snap: ‘The weather isn’t the only thing that’s hot!’

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Joan Collins appears on Louis Theroux Interviews on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at 9pm on BBC Two.

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Helen Fear
TV Editor