Quentin Tarantino has been heavily criticised online since the New York Times interview with Uma Thurman
Quentin Tarantino has been heavily criticised online since the New York Times interview with Uma Thurman

Tarantino: Girl ‘wanted to have it’

AN INTERVIEW where Quentin Tarantino defends a Hollywood director accused of raping a 13-year-old girl has resurfaced after Uma Thurman spoke out about a horror car crash she was involved in on the set of Kill Bill.

Roman Polanski, the director of classic films Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown, was charged in 1977 of the sexual assault of 13-year-old model Samantha Gailey. After pleading guilty to the lesser charge of having unlawful sex with a minor, Polanski fled the US to avoid jail time and has mostly lived in France ever since.

Many Hollywood figures have stood up for Polanski over the years, including Tarantino who defended his actions in a 2003 interview with Howard Stern, which has recirculated this week.

Tarantino argued that Gailey was willingly dating Polanski when she was 13 and he was in his 40s, and that she was "down with" having sex with him.

"He didn't rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape, all right. That's not quite the same thing. He had sex with a minor, all right. That's not rape," Tarantino says in the interview.

"To me, when you use the word 'rape', you're talking about violent, throwing them down - it's one of the most violent crimes in the world.

"Throwing the word 'rape' around is like throwing the word 'racist' around. It just doesn't apply to everything that people use it for."

When asked whether Polanski forced himself on her, Tarantino said Gailey "wanted to have it".

"We're talking about America's morals, we're not talking about the morals in Europe and everything," he said.

"Look, she was down with it."

Polanski will be a key character in Tarantino's next film, a dramatisation of the 1969 Manson Family killings, which saw members of Charles Manson's cult break into the director's Hollywood home and kill his heavily pregnant wife, actor Sharon Tate.

The Howard Stern interview has resurfaced this week amid fierce criticism of Tarantino's conduct over Uma Thurman's near-fatal car crash on the set of Tarantino's Kill Bill.

Speaking to The New York Times, Thurman recalled how Tarantino refused her request for a stuntwoman and made her do the driving for one shot, despite her fears that the car was not safe.

Footage published at the weekend shows Thurman smash the car into a palm tree.


"When I came back from the hospital in a neck brace with my knees damaged and a large massive egg on my head and a concussion, I wanted to see the car and I was very upset," Thurman told the Times.

"Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me."

Tarantino backed up Thurman's version of events during an interview with Deadline published overnight.

"It was heartbreaking. Beyond one of the biggest regrets of my career, it is one of the biggest regrets of my life," he said.

In an Instagram post on Monday, Thurman said the circumstances of this event were "negligent to the point of criminality", but she did not believe there was malicious intent on Tarantino's part.

Thurman was more angry that the incident was covered up and that she was denied access to the footage for years.

"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," she wrote on Instagram.

"He 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."

In the Deadline interview, Tarantino also admits to spitting in Thurman's face and mock choking her as part of the filming for Kill Bill.

"Well, that's what this was. A scene where somebody spits in somebody's face. I can explain why I did exactly what I did, but my question is, what's the f***ing problem?" he said.

In the Times interview, Thurman also opened up for the first time about how producer Harvey Weinstein allegedly assaulted her in a London hotel room. Mr Weinstein has denied the claim.

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