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Exposed.. Jenny tells how the casting couch is alive and well worn.

It's as old as the Hollywood Hills and far less attractive... the casting couch.

Trading sex for stardom is built in with the woodwork in the film industry and the casting couch is a way of life.

And every starlet from Marilyn Monroe to Jenny McCarthy has been asked to audition on it.

It is well known NOW that megastars like Joan Crawford used sex to get their first big breaks. But it didn't become public knowledge until they were dead.

Starlets kept mum. Speak about it and your career was dead.

But times have changed. Today's feisty women are not prepared to let movie moguls and Hollywood bigwigs get away with sexual blackmail.

Thanks to the courage of former Playboy bunny girl Jenny McCarthy, Hollywood's top girl stars are set to spill the beans on the highly-connected creeps who own the couches.

And Hollywood's ace legal teams are waiting in the wings ... to make a killing.

"The casting couch in this town will always exist. I just don't know why there's a code of silence about it," says the stunning pin-up.

Jenny smashed the "code" to smithereens when she spoke openly about her casting couch ordeals.

During a "private" audition she landed an uppercut on one movie mogul who suddenly leapt on her and started nuzzling her neck.

She also walked out when a TV chief asked her: "Are you the type of girl who will do a little more for a part?" Jenny stops short of naming these randy bigwigs - except martial arts megastar Steven Seagal. His behaviour was so disgusting, it still upsets her.

"I was last into his office auditioning for a part in Under Siege 2," she says. "He told me to sit on the huge couch, then he said: `So you were Playmate of the Year?' Then he told me there was nudity in the movie and he asked me to stand up and take off my dress."

Jenny refused and ran out of Seagal's office in tears with him pursuing her. He grabbed her at her car door and warned: "Don't you ever tell anybody."

Jenny admits: "Each time I was sexually harassed I got more depressed. Other girls who'd been to the same bigwigs didn't see anything wrong in giving in. I DID."

The next day she landed a part in the hit TV show Singled Out and now she's the number one pin-up on the Internet.

In most film scripts, the star sweeps the leading lady off her feet. But some leading men want to do it FOR REAL.

Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes discovered that fiery femme fatale Jennifer Lopez wasn't just hard to get... she wasn't gettable at all. She starred with them in her first big movie, Money Train, and they both made a play for her. She gave them the bodyswerve and Wesley wouldn't talk to her for two months.

"Some actors are so used to getting their own way, they think they can treat women like objects," says Jennifer.

Proof that the casting couch is still in use on both sides of the Atlantic comes from Samantha Janus.

"I was naive, 17, and desperate to become a singer," she says. "I was offered success by record company executives in exchange for favours. It depressed me and I started drinking too much and took drugs."

Hollywood cleaned itself up during a moral backlash in the '80s but that has long gone. Now it seems to be a town without shame.

The biggest brass neck recently belonged to big-time producer Howard De Luca. At a starry party for Hollywood's conservative elite he was thrown out for engaging in a sex act with a starlet in full view of guests. But movie moguls chasing starlets round desks is as old as Sunset Boulevard.

Columbia boss Harry Cohn had a secret passage that led directly from his office to a dressing room occupied by a succession of young actresses.

Cohn, desperate for a male heir, once offered a busty starlet dollars 75,000 to get pregnant by him, with another dollars 50,000 if she had a girl... and dollars 100,000 if it was a boy.

Darryl F. Zanuck, at 20th Century Fox, closed his office between 4 and 4.30 and it was known as "Zanuck's playtime." A string of women were eager to offer favours because he had so many to give in return.

Billionaire Howard Hughes was probably the all-time champion of the casting couch. His list of sexual conquests - including Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, Jane Russell, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis - took up five pages in a recent biography.

Even Britain's best-known director, Alfred Hitchcock, lusted after the ice-maiden blonde stars in his movies, but the idea of physical contact with the obese director made them shudder.

Before she was princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly - after years of Hitch's wheedling - agreed out of pity to satisfy his sexual desires in a strictly "hands-off" way "just this once".

One night, Hitchcock sat in a hotel room with an eye clamped to a powerful telescope. About a mile away, in the brightly-lit bedroom of another hotel, Grace Kelly slowly took her clothes off.

Hitchcock was NOT grateful. After the Kelly-Rainier marriage, he always referred to her as "Princess Disgrace".
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 13, 1998
Previous Article:Northern Exposure; Porn pedlar who floods Scotland with pure filth.
Next Article:Kids in pitch spikes scare.

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