Director Steven Soderbergh has denied the rumours that Thandiwe Newton was fired from the third 'Magic Mike' film.

'Magic Mike's Last Dance' is about to hit cinemas, but the movie suffered a setback early on in filming, when British actress Thandiwe Newton was abruptly replaced as the female lead by Salma Hayek after less than two weeks on set.

A spokesperson claimed that she had stepped away 'to deal with family matters', but a rumour soon took hold that Newton had 'explosively' argued with her co-star Channing Tatum about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, which had taken place not long before production started.

Now, Soderbergh has addressed the matter by shutting down rumours of a row between the stars.

"Nothing I ever saw was accurate, and there’s really no upside for anybody involved in litigating this or excavating it, because I consider it private,” he told Rolling Stone. "Everything I saw publicly was wrong. It was just…I don’t think anybody sees any benefit in running through this publicly. It becomes something you can’t control. Right now, to keep it private means all of us can control it, and I think that’s where it should sit for the time being."

Neither Newton nor Tatum have commented on the matter since.