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Joan Collins Almost Sold to Arab Sheik & Traumatised by First Husband's Actions before Wedding

Joe Akins
Oct 07, 2021
02:00 P.M.

Joan Collins is one of Hollywood's most iconic stars with a career that spanned more than five decades, but her personal life has not been as colorful as her career. Here's why.


Joan Collins' career was not a fairytale story as she did not immediately hit the big screen when she started. Instead, it took years of playing several roles in low-budget movies before she rose through the ranks.

Now 88, Collins has lived a memorable life and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. The actress is often spotted looking her best and showing her fans just how fit and healthy she is after all these years.

Pictures of Joan Collins with her first husband Maxwell Reed | Photo: Getty Images

Pictures of Joan Collins with her first husband Maxwell Reed | Photo: Getty Images

While fans enjoy seeing flashes of the "Lady Godiva Rides Again" star, Collins' life has not been a bed of roses. From several failed marriages to terrible abuse, the actress courts some scars in her heart.



Collins was born on May 23, 1933, in London, England, to a British-born Anglican mother and South African-born Jewish father. Her mother, Elsa Bessant Collins, was a former nightclub hostess, while her father Joseph was a well-to-do talent manager with famous clients such as Tom Jones and the Beatles.

One of her siblings is the famous novelist Jackie, whose books have sold more than 400 million copies globally. Growing up, Collins was the sweetheart of her family, and her good looks made it easy to spot her from the crowd.

Dame Joan Collins at the Mark Zunino Atelier on November 07, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

Dame Joan Collins at the Mark Zunino Atelier on November 07, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

After moving to Hollywood in the 1950s with the hope of becoming a star, things didn't go as smoothly as she had hoped. Her first film role was as an uncredited beauty pageant contestant in the movie "Lady Godiva Rides Again."


Afterward, Collins struggled to land bigger roles and for the next few decades juggled between a series of B-rated movie roles with frequent television appearances and pin-up shoots.

She became known for her trademark hairstyle as well as her relationships with several leading actors of the time, including Dennis Hopper and Warren Beatty.


Collins was later chosen to play "The Stud" and "The Bitch," both popular film adaptations of her sister Jackie's novels. She went on to feature in other movies, including several soap operas.

Throughout her career, Collins was nominated six times for a Golden Globe, finally winning her first in 1983. In 1997, British monarch Queen Elizabeth II awarded the actress the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her huge role in shaping lives through arts and her involvement in charity.


Collins became a Dame in 2015 after British heir; Prince Charles gave her the honorary title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) as an award for her charitable acts.

After more than 50 years in the movie industry, Collins continues to be as busy as ever. Her website and social media pages show the actress looking as stunning and dramatic as ever.



Away from the spotlight, Collins' personal life has been as dramatic as the roles she plays in her movies. The actress has not had the best of luck when it comes to choosing a life partner, and her first husband raped her before she turned 18.

In a documentary tackling sexual violence and abuse, an emotional Collins opened up for the first about being raped by her then-future husband, Maxwell Reed. The interview marked the first time Collins would open up about the hurtful experience.

In her autobiography, Collins shared the experience of how Reed drugged her and forced himself on her while she was only 17 and still a virgin. The guilt made her marry the actor.

Joan Collins photographed in February 1961 | Photo: Getty Images

Joan Collins photographed in February 1961 | Photo: Getty Images


At the time of the crime, Collins had just been signed to Rank film studios, and many expected her to succeed. Being taken advantage of was a damaging experience for the actress, and she has since lent her voice to other victims, helping them to speak out.

Speaking of the incident, Collins explained that she was on a date with Reed, and he handed her a rum and a coke to drink while she read a book and went off to take a bath. Unknown to Collins, she had just been drugged.

The book Reed handed to Collins contained pornographic content, which was a first-time experience for the teenage star, and in a matter of minutes, an unconscious Collins was raped by the Irish actor.


Collins felt guilty about the affair and took the blame. In her little naive mind, she felt going out with an older actor who was famous at the time was her way of inviting trouble.

Despite the saddening incident, Collins did not stop seeing the film star. The duo continued hanging out for a couple of months, after which Reed asked her to marry him, and she agreed.

Losing her virginity to Reed caused her to hate him, but she felt powerless to leave his side. Collins later admitted that it took her a long time to heal and build trust with any other man.

Joan Collins on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images

Joan Collins on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images


Rather than atone for his crime, Reed committed more while married to Collins. According to the actress, the late actor attempted to sell her to an Arab sheik for $20,000.


Her marriage to Reed was a disaster, especially their sexual life. Things got unbearable when Collins learned of her husband's plans to allow an Arab sheik to spend the night with her. The actress later divorced Reed and was married four more after.

Joan Collins on May 14, 2017 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images

Joan Collins on May 14, 2017 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images


After her first marriage ended, Collins married British singer-songwriter Anthony Newley for eight years, from 1963 to 1971. The duo shared a daughter and a son before their divorce in 1970.

Her third husband, Apple Records CEO Ron Kass, and she had a daughter Katy during their 11-year marriage, which began in 1972. Collins' fourth marriage was to Swedish pop singer Peter Holm, which ended in a tumultuous divorce in 1987 after only 13 months.


Collins married her current spouse, theater company manager Percy Gibson, who is 32 years her junior, in February 2002. In 2009, they rekindled their vows and are still going strong.

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