Director Quentin Tarantino apologized to the sexual abuse victim of director Roman Polanski for minimizing — and seemingly mocking — her claim that Polanski raped her when she was just 13 years old.
What's the background?
Tarantino, in recently resurfaced comments to shock jock Howard Stern, said that Polanski's victim, Samantha Geimer, "wanted to have it," pointing to her claims that Polanski raped her in the 1970s. Tarantino told Stern that he didn't believe Polanski had actually raped Geimer.
The 2003 audio, which Variety resurfaced in a Tuesday article, features the conversation between Tarantino and Stern.
"He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape, all right?" Tarantino said in the audio. "That’s not quite the same thing, all right? … He had sex with a minor, all right? That’s not rape."
He continued, "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. Throwing the word 'rape' around is like throwing the word 'racist' around, OK?"
"It doesn’t apply to everything that people use it for, all right? … He was guilty of having sex with a minor, all right?" Tarantino added.
When Stern co-host Robin Quivers argued that Polanski’s purported victim didn’t want to have sex with Polanski, Tarantino balked.
"That was not the case at all," Tarantino replied. "She wanted to have it and dated the guy."
According to the Variety article, Polanski was arrested in 1977 for rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, and lewd and lascivious acts upon a child under 14.
Polanski fled the United States after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor.
What is Tarantino saying now?
Tarantino, in a statement provided to The Wrap, apologized for the 15-year-old remarks.
"I want to publicly apologize to Samantha Geimer for my cavalier remarks on 'The Howard Stern Show' speculating about her and the crime that was committed against her," he told the outlet.
"Fifteen years later, I realize how wrong I was. Ms. Geimer WAS raped by Roman Polanski," he continued. "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," Tarantino added. "So, Ms. Geimer, I was ignorant, and insensitive, and above all, incorrect. I am sorry, Samantha."
Did Geimer respond to the recently resurfaced audio?
Geimer, in a Tuesday interview with the New York Daily News, condemned Tarantino's 2003 remarks.
"[Tarantino] was wrong. I bet he knows it," Geimer, 54, told the outlet. "I hope he doesn't make an ass of himself and keep talking that way."
Geimer added that she's not upset, but noted that she would "probably feel better" if Tarantino realized that he was wrong "after 15 years, after hearing the facts."
"Nobody has to be pissed off on my behalf. I'm OK," said Geimer, who lives in Hawaii.
Geimer, who said she's forgiven Polanski, said that she doesn't care about what people think.
"I know what happened," she explained. "I do not need other people weighing in on what it's like getting raped at 13."