Only a day after he apologised for a driving stunt that injured star Uma Thurman, director Quentin Tarantino has some more explaining to do.
Today a 2003 interview with Tarantino in which he discusses director Roman Polanski’s sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl has resurfaced and gone viral.
While being interviewed by Howard Stern on his radio show, Tarantino downplays the assault saying Polanski’s victim ‘wanted to have it’.
First reported on by Jezebel, Tarantino adamantly defends Polanski who sexually assaulted the young girl in 1977.
He didn’t rape a 13-year-old it was statutory rape… That’s not quite the same thing.
He had sex with a minor. That’s not rape. To me, when you use the word rape, you’re talking about violent, throwing them down — it’s like one of the most violent crimes in the world.
You can’t throw the word rape around. It’s like throwing the word ‘racist’ around. It doesn’t apply to everything people use it for.
You can listen to the full interview here:
Co-host and actress Robin Quivers then stepped in reminding Tarantino that the girl had been given drugs and alcohol before the assault.
He did not waver in his opinion though countering:
No, that was not the case AT ALL. She wanted to have it and dated the guy.
And by the way, we’re talking about America’s morals, not talking about the morals in Europe and everything.
Countered by Stern and co-presenter Quivers that she was 13 and plied with booze and pills, Tarantino said:
Look, she was down with this.
Tarantino conceded that if the victim was his daughter then he would have ‘beat the hell out of him’ but concluded the girl in the Polanski case ‘was down to party with Roman’.
In 1977 the Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby director was charged with raping a 13-year-old girl and pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with a minor.
Fleeing the country before sentencing, the charges were left pending and he remains the subject of an Interpol red notice.
Famously Polanski received the support of numerous key figures in Hollywood with 100 of them including Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Darren Aronofsky signing a petition calling for his release.
Yesterday Tarantino broke his silence on the brutal crash which left Uma Thurman suffering lasting injuries on the set of Kill Bill 15 years ago.
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:
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.
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 spoke to Deadline about the crash saying:
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.
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 believed 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.
Thurman responded to this on Instagram by saying Tarantino had done ‘the right thing’.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.