She says that he treated her "like a piece of meat," and asked her flaunt her body and spin for a casting session. "I was mortified and incredibly angry. I thought it was insulting and sexist, and I don't think any actress should be treated like that -- like a piece of meat -- at all." The director-turned-restaurant critic, meanwhile, has an entirely different story, or at least, he seems to think so. He shared his version of things over at The Mail, and it is, well, interesting.
In his story, she was an actress with "sagging bosoms" who refused to wear a bra. Her then-agent supposedly was at a loss, so she convinced Winner to help try and convince her. But even after this whole story about how he was just trying to be of help, he said: "Now I don't mind that Helen looks back on those days as humiliating, but I'll tell you something else, Helen: even after that period, for years after I still asked girls to stand up away from my desk so I could get a good look at them." Okay, Winner, thanks for sharing.
Really, it's not like Mirren shied away from racy fare. She isn't complaining about sexist troubles when she read to star as Caesonia in Penthouse's Caligula, or as a prostitute in Hussy. If she isn't complaining about a Guccione production, that says something.* We'll never know what happened for sure, but at least its an entirely strange story for the weekend.
*Edited thanks to the catch by Rich. You're absolutely right!