Quentin Tarantino has broken his silence on the brutal crash which left Uma Thurman suffering lasting injuries on the set of Kill Bill 15 years ago, saying directing the stunt has been ‘the biggest regret of his life’.
Uma Thurman was involved in an on-set crash in Mexico in 2002, which left her suffering concussion and damaged knees, she alleged in a New York Times article published this weekend, in which she also accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.
She shared footage of the crash on Instagram on Monday 6 February:
i post this clip to memorialize it’s full exposure in the nyt by Maureen Dowd. the circumstances of this event were negligent to the point of criminality. i do not believe though with malicious intent. Quentin Tarantino, was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry event, and gave me the footage years later so i could expose it and let it see the light of day, regardless of it most likely being an event for which justice will never be possible. he also did so with full knowledge it could cause him personal harm, and i am proud of him for doing the right thing and for his courage. THE COVER UP after the fact is UNFORGIVABLE. for this i hold Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh, and the notorious Harvey Weinstein solely responsible. they lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress. the cover up did have malicious intent, and shame on these three for all eternity. CAA never sent anyone to Mexico. i hope they look after other clients more respectfully if they in fact want to do the job for which they take money with any decency.
Since the article was released, Tarantino’s directorial role has been questioned by many.
In the Kill Bill films, Tarantino himself allegedly performed some of the ‘sadistic’ acts inflicted on Thurman’s character, including spitting in her face and choking her with a chain.
Harvey assaulted me but that didn’t kill me. What really got me about the crash was that it was a cheap shot. I had been through so many rings of fire by that point.
I had really always felt a connection to the greater good in my work with Quentin and most of what I allowed to happen to me and what I participated in was kind of like a horrible mud wrestle with a very angry brother.
But at least I had some say, you know?
Thurman claims Tarantino provided her with the footage of the crash to atone for his part to play in her suffering, adding he ‘was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry event’.
Tarantino told Deadline about his participation in the NYT article:
Uma and I had talked about it, for a long period of time, deciding how she was going to do it. She wanted clarity on what happened in that car crash, after all these years.
Thurman alleges she was hesitant to do the stunt required to film the iconic scene, because she felt the car was unsafe after it had been reconfigured to from a stick-shift to an automatic and a crew member expressed concerns it was not working properly.
Tarantino recalled the events of that day on set, telling Deadline he’d tested the car himself, after Thurman had asked a trained driver to complete the scene, which she considered to be a stunt.
I came in there all happy telling her she could totally do it, it was a straight line, you will have no problem. Uma’s response was… ‘Okay.’ Because she believed me. Because she trusted me.
I told her it would be okay. I told her the road was a straight line. I told her it would be safe. And it wasn’t. I was wrong. I didn’t force her into the car. She got into it because she trusted me. And she believed me.
We did the shot. And she crashed. At first, no one really knew what happened. After the crash, when Uma went to the hospital, I was feeling in total anguish at what had happened.
Watching her fight for the wheel… remembering me hammering about how it was safe and she could do it. Emphasising that it was a straight road, a straight road… the fact that she believe me, and I literally watched this little S curve pop up.
And it spins her like a top. It was heartbreaking. Beyond one of the biggest regrets of my career, it is one of the biggest regrets of my life.
In her Instagram post, Thurman said the director had done the ‘right thing’:
Quentin Tarantino, was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry event, and gave me the footage years later so I could expose it and let it see the light of day, regardless of it most likely being an event for which justice will never be possible.
He also did so with full knowledge it could cause him personal harm, and I am proud of him for doing the right thing and for his courage.
After the incident, Thurman placed blame solely at the feet of Harvey Weinstein, Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh and her agents at CAA, calling the alleged cover up ‘unforgivable’.
Weinstein’s representative has responded to the allegations, saying:
Mr. Weinstein acknowledges making an awkward pass 25 years ago at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals, after a flirtatious exchange in Paris, for which he immediately apologized and deeply regrets. However, her claims about being physically assaulted are untrue. And this is the first time we have heard those details.
There was no physical contact during Mr. Weinstein’s awkward pass and Mr. Weinstein is saddened and puzzled as to ‘why’ Ms. Thurman, someone he considers a colleague and a friend, waited 25 years to make these allegations public, noting that he and Ms. Thurman have shared a very close and mutually beneficial working relationship where they have made several very successful film projects together.
This is the first time we are hearing that she considered Mr. Weinstein an enemy and the pictures of their history tell a completely different story.
The representative also release a series on photographs depicting Thurman and Weinstein at showbiz events, to try and discredit the 47-year-old actor’s allegations.
Hinting at potential ‘appropriate’ legal action against Thurman, the disgraced producer’s attorney Ben Brafman said her statements ‘are being carefully examined and investigated’.
Meanwhile, Hollywood is calling Time’s Up on the systematic sexual harassment and abuse of those who work within their industry.