“You can’t help but feel exploited”

Claire Foy said she feels “used” when filming sex scenes, describing the experience as “the worst thing you can do”.

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The actor plays Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, in a new BBC series A very British scandal, who was subjected to gossip and obscene stories after publishing scandalous photos during her divorce proceedings.

The series delves into the 1963 court case, in which husband Ian Campbell (played by Paul Bettany) alleged that she had sex with 88 men, and provided photographs showing her performing oral sex with an unknown man.

Talking about filming sex scenes for the show today Women’s watch for BBC Radio 4Foy said, “It’s a really hardcore situation because basically you feel exploited when you’re a woman and you have to have fake sex on screen. You can’t help but feel exploited.”

“It’s dismal – it’s the saddest thing you can do. You feel exposed. Anyone can make you try not to feel that way but unfortunately it is the truth.

“But the thing I did was feel very strongly that he had to be in her, but I wanted to be female. I didn’t want it to be the kind of horrible climax sexual experience you often see on the cinema screen.”

The series explores attitudes toward women during the 1960s, as the Duchess remained defiant despite being publicly vilified by the press, friends and the judiciary. The show also covers the famous court case, where all accusations of fraud, theft, violence, drug use, secret recording and bribery all surfaced.

Speaking about the series, writer Sarah Phelps said: “Writing Margaret’s life story and the events leading up to her divorce from the Duke including her divorce from the Duke has been a passion project of mine since 1993 when I first heard her name and started getting to know her.

“I felt very strongly that she was punished for being a woman, for being visible, for refusing to hold back, to be a good girl and to go softly. This drama is my tribute to her.”

A very British scandal It will broadcast over three consecutive nights on BBC One starting on Boxing Day.

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