Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 16:47 UK

Dame Helen in cocaine admission

Dame Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren gave an interview to ex-newspaper editor Piers Morgan

Oscar-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren has admitted that she used to "love" taking cocaine.

The actress, 63, told GQ Magazine she used the Class A drug "just a little bit at parties" until the early 1980s.

She said she gave up the drug after learning that Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie had been making money from the drug in South America.

That had revealed to her the "full horrifying structure of what brings coke to our parties", she added.

She said: "I loved coke. I never did a lot, just a little bit at parties."

Dope always made me feel miserable and paranoid and unhappy

Dame Helen Mirren

She said that, after reading a newspaper article about Klaus Barbie, "all the cards fell into place and I saw how my little sniff of cocaine at a party had an absolute direct route" to him.

"And from that day I never touched cocaine again," she added.

Dame Helen also told GQ she had used marijuana in the past.

"I hated it," she said.

"Dope always made me feel miserable and paranoid and unhappy.

"And I woke up one day and thought, 'no more of that, thank you'."

Dame Helen has previously spoken about a bad experience she had after taking LSD in her early 20s.

Queen meeting

In her interview with former national newspaper editor Piers Morgan in the October edition of GQ, Dame Helen also spoke about being date-raped as a student - something she first revealed in a 2003 interview.

She told GQ: "I was [date-raped], yes. A couple of times.

"Not with excessive violence, or being hit, but rather being locked in a room and made to have sex against my will."

Dame Helen said it was rape if a couple engaged in sexual activity but the woman said "no" at the last second.

She said 'hello, it's lovely to meet you'. And that was about it, other than horsey chat
Dame Helen on meeting the Queen

However, she said: "I don't think she can have that man into court under those circumstances."

She said she had not reported her own experiences to police because "you couldn't do that in those days".

Her comments were called "profoundly disappointing" by Home Office minister Tony McNulty.

"At a time when we're trying to get more and more women to report rape, I find her comments very unhelpful and a matter of regret," he told BBC Five Live.

Dame Helen, who won an Oscar last year for her role as the Queen, also revealed she finally met the monarch at Ascot this summer - after filming commitments meant she had to turn down an invitation for dinner at Buckingham Palace.

She said: "She said 'hello, it's lovely to meet you'. And that was about it, other than horsey chat."

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02 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
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10 May 07 |  Entertainment
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