London: Kate Winslet is at the centre of an embarrassing row over drug legalisation after her name was used to endorse a campaign run by her boyfriend’s uncle, Sir Richard Branson, it has been revealed.
The Oscar-winning actress appears in a 17-second YouTube clip alongside Sir Richard to promote ‘Breaking the Taboo’ - a documentary made by his son Sam which sets out the case for decriminalising drugs and supports a campaign of the same name.
The 37-year-old ‘Titanic’ star, who lives with Sir Richard’s nephew Ned Rocknroll, does not appear in the documentary but features in the black-and-white promotional clip saying “I’m Kate Winslet and I’m breaking the taboo.”
The film, which will be releasing next week, includes contributions from former US President Bill Clinton and is understood to argue that the current approach to drugs has failed and highlights countries where decriminalisation has been successful.
Asked to clarify which aspects of the campaign she supported, sources close to Winslet said that the actress was happy to promote the film and encourage debate, but was not calling for the legalisation of drugs.
Hours later, Winslet’s name and photograph were removed from a list of supporters on the campaign’s website.
The campaign is being run in conjunction with the film and suggests ‘solutions’ to the ‘war on drugs’, including proposals to ‘fully legalise and regulate the drug market’ and ‘decriminalise all drugs’.
The YouTube clip remained on the Breaking the Taboo website on Friday night, with sources saying the actress’s involvement ‘starts and ends with gesture of support for the film’.
“There was a mistake, she shouldn’t have been on there. We’ve had her taken off,” the Daily Mail quoted a source as saying.
“She doesn’t support all the things on that list, she supports the film.
“Kate got involved with the film because of her relationship with Sir Richard’s nephew, Ned. Kate does not, and never has, used drugs,” the source said.
Winslet’s backing the film because she supports the film’s attempt to open the debate on alternative and more effective ways to end the misery that the drug trade causes.’
“There is a very distinct feeling that any suggestion Kate supports the legalisation of drugs would have a very negative impact on her career,” a film insider said.