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Audio of Quentin Tarantino defending Roman Polanski of having sex with a 13-year-old resurfaces

An audio recording of an interview in which Quentin Tarantino is heard defending Roman Polanski, who plead guilty to having had sex with a 13-year-old. “She was down with it,” Tarantino is heard saying.

hollywood Updated: Feb 07, 2018 14:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Quentin Tarantino,Roman Polanski,Uma Thurman
Quentin Tarantino has expressed sorrow for the car crash that injured Uma Thurman during shooting of ‘Kill Bill,’ calling it the greatest regret of his life. He said he had test-driven the route himself and believed it to be safe, and persuaded Thurman she could drive it. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)(AP)

A day after expressing regret for his part in Uma Thurman’s accident on the set of Kill Bill, a 2003 interview in which director Quentin Tarantino is heard defending Roman Polanski, who plead guilty to having unlawful sex with a minor, resurfaced online. First arrested in 1977, Polanski fled from the United States to Paris and has since been living in Switzerland. The resurfaced audio - recorded during an episode of the Howard Stern Show - comes to light soon after Tarantino announced that Polanski would be playing a part in his new film, based around the infamous murder of Polanski’s then wife, Sharon Tate.

In this Jan. 20, 1968, file photo, American actor Sharon Tate and Polish born film director Roman Polanski skip downstairs after their wedding at Chelsea Register Office in London. At the time of her death, Tate was 8 1/2 months pregnant with Polanski's son. She pleaded with the killers to spare the life of her unborn child. (AP)

In the interview, republished by Jezebel, Tarantino is heard defending Polanski against the charges made against him. Stern asked the same question then that has been on the everyone’s mind now, that why does Tarantino defend “this mad man, this director who raped a 13-year-old.”

“He didn’t rape a 13-year-old,” was the Pulp Fiction director’s reply. “It was statutory rape...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.”

Tarantino has often been accused of racism in his movies, and for using the ‘n-word’ repeatedly.

He was reminded that Polanski had allegedly drugged the girl before having sex with her, which Tarantino vehemently countered. “No, that was not the case at all. She wanted to have it and dated the guy,” he said. “And by the way,” he continued, “we’re talking about America’s morals, not talking about the morals in Europe and everything.”

“She was down with this.”

Quentin Tarantino (L) and President of the Jury at the 57th Cannes Film Festival, poses with Uma Thurman (R) during a photocall for their film Kill Bill Vol. 2 which was screened out of competition at the 57th Cannes Film Festival. (REUTERS)

Tarantino has been making headlines recently for another resurfaced piece of evidence, a video from the set of his 2003 film, Kill Bill, in which star Uma Thurman can be seen crashing a car into a tree. In a New York Times story, Thurman accused disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, and of covering up the injuries she received after the crash. She said that she had voiced concerns to Tarantino, who coerced her into doing the stunt on an unsafe stretch of road. The injuries left her knees permanently damaged. While she acknowledged Tarantino’s remorse - the director said that the incident was “one of the biggest regrets of my life” and made the footage available to her as an act of atonement - she also didn’t let Weinstein off the hook.

Tarantino is said to be courting Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio for his new movie. Polanski, meanwhile, continues to direct films and is based in Europe.

Tarantino’s comments have attracted a backlash on Twitter:

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First Published: Feb 07, 2018 14:43 IST