Outlander star Sam Heughan has hit out at show bosses for filming an 'unnecessary' shot of his penis during a harrowing rape scene.
The 42-year-old Scottish actor stars alongside Caitríona Balfe, 43, in the time-bending series about a nurse in World War II, who goes back in time to Scotland in 1743 where she meets a dashing Highland warrior.
When he signed up for the show - which is broadcast by Starz - in 2014 the star agreed to nudity in his contract but said he felt 'betrayed' when producers wanted to showcase his genitals after his character suffered a 'horrific' sexual assault.
Writing in his memoir, Waypoints: My Scottish Journey, Sam recalled filming the final episodes of season one in which his character, 18th-century Highland warrior Jamie Fraser, is tortured and repeatedly raped by his nemesis, Captain Jonathan 'Black Jack' Randall, played by Game of Thrones star Tobias Menzies.
'They betrayed my trust': Outlander star Sam Heughan hit out at show bosses for filming an 'unnecessary' nude shot of him in a 'horrific' rape scene from the season one finale
According to Sam, 42, the show's 'creative team' wanted to show him naked after his character had suffered a 'horrific' assault at the hands of his nemesis, played by Tobias Menzies (seen)
He said he told show runners that he believed using a shot of his genitals in such a harrowing scene would 'sexualise' the horrific assault that his character had just endured - insisting that the nude imagery wasn't going to 'add' anything to the moment.
He explained: 'This wasn't a moment where I felt that being naked would add to the horror of what Jamie undergoes in that castle dungeon as a form of punishment, subjugation and humiliation.
'I pushed back, reasoning that nudity sexualised a horrific experience for my character, and it sparked quite a debate.
'Creative conversations are a feature of all productions, good art is made by questioning the truth and we all want to get it right.'
Eventually, Outlander bosses agreed that his character Jamie would be seen nude but 'sprawled on the dungeon stones' after he'd been assaulted, with Sam confessing: 'Those closing scenes were incredibility challenging to film.'
He added: 'Even though, thankfully the nude shots ended on the cutting room floor. It was a harrowing, exhausting experience.'
But while his genitals did not make it into the final episode, Sam admitted that the debate about whether or not those shots should be featured 'betrayed his trust' in the show's creative team - adding that he does not believe such scenes would ever be filmed today.
'Times have changed,' Sam wrote. 'The c**k shot was unnecessary and did betray my trust in the creative team a bit.
'We don't need to see the horror to imagine what the characters go through. Imagination is way more powerful.'
Co-stars: The 42-year-old Scottish actor stars alongside Caitríona Balfe, 43, in the time-bending series about a nurse in World War II, who goes back in time to Scotland in 1743
Speaking out: After fan backlash over the rape scenes, Sam said 'it is remarkable that our show has dealt with these issues and we haven't turned a blind eye to it'
MailOnline has contacted Starz network for comment.
Outlander's first season debuted eight years ago, in August 2014, and season six - the most recent - aired earlier this year, with the next episodes expected to premiere next year.
This is not the first time that Sam has opened up about the difficulties he faced while filming season one's final episodes, with the actor admitting to Vulture in May 2015, that he nearly reached his limit when the production team asked him to film to torturous scenes another time.
'They said, "We'd love one more wide shot of it, the whole thing,"' he recalled. 'And I was like... [groans], "Oh God." I thought I'd gotten it all out of the way. And they said, "We'll only do it up to a certain point, just before it happens.'
However, according to Sam, the director and production team never called 'cut', forcing him to once again act out the moments in which his character is brutally raped - an experience that he admitted 'broke his trust'.
'It got up to that point, and they didn't call cut, so we had to carry on,' he explained. 'I remember feeling so scared, and actually feeling slightly like my trust had been broken a bit, because it was horrific. Great to play, but horrific. But that's what it was for [my character] Jamie — he's beaten and tortured and broken down, completely!'
Ultimately however, Sam admitted that the personal turmoil he experienced in filming the scene another time likely helped to improve his performance, with the actor noting: 'I think they did it to me on purpose, just to go there.'