Tarantino sorry for defence of Polanski: ‘I was ignorant’
Quentin Tarantino apologises for talking down Roman Polanski’s sexual assault
Director Quentin Tarantino: ‘I realize how wrong I was. Samantha Geimer WAS raped by Roman Polanski.’ Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
The film-maker Quentin Tarantino has said sorry for a 2003 interview in which he justified Roman Polanski’s rape of Samantha Geimer.
In a resurfaced interview with Howard Stern, he defined the incident as “not rape” because he believed that the 13-year-old wanted to have sex with the film-maker.
In a statement, issued to Indiewire, Tarantino has apologised for what he now calls “ignorant” beliefs.
“I want to publicly apologise to Samantha Geimer for my cavalier remarks on The Howard Stern Show speculating about her and the crime that was committed against her,” he wrote.
“Fifteen years later, I realize how wrong I was. Ms. Geimer WAS raped by Roman Polanski. When Howard brought up Polanski, I incorrectly played devil’s advocate in the debate for the sake of being provocative. I didn’t take Ms. Geimer’s feelings into consideration and for that I am truly sorry. So, Ms. Geimer, I was ignorant, and insensitive, and above all, incorrect.”
The comments follow on from an interview with Geimer earlier this week. “He was wrong,” she said to the New York Daily News. “I bet he knows it … I’m not upset, but I would probably feel better if he realizes now that he was wrong, after 15 years, after hearing the facts.”
Tarantino is set to start production on his untitled next film, set around the backdrop of the Charles Manson murders with Polanski as a character in the story. His wife Sharon Tate was murdered by members of the Manson family in 1969.
The tape of Tarantino’s interview was brought to light after the director was accused of negligence by Uma Thurman on the set of Kill Bill. In an interview with the New York Times, the actor recalled unsafe working conditions that resulted in a car accident.
“I am guilty, for putting her in that car, but not the way that people are saying I am guilty of it,” he has since said. “It was just driving. None of us looked at it as a stunt. Maybe we should have, but we didn’t. I’m sure when it was brought up to me, that I rolled my eyes and was irritated. But I’m sure I wasn’t in a rage and I wasn’t livid.”
News of the incident, supported by video footage released by Thurman, has led to outrage in the stunt community. “The stuff that went on is appalling,” veteran stunt performer and coordinator Andy Armstrong told the Hollywood Reporter. “That could have been a death by decapitation. The car could easily have rolled over [or] the camera could have flown forward. It was irresponsibility on a mega level.”