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Quentin Tarantino Has Apologized to Roman Polanski’s Victim

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 27:  Director Quentin Tarantino speaks at the 'Reservoir Dogs' 25th Anniversary Screening during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 27, 2017 in Park City, Utah.  (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
Quentin Tarantino in 2017.
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Quentin Tarantino has apologized to Samantha Geimer for comments made in a 2003 interview in which he said that he didn’t believe that director Roman Polanski raped her when she was 13 years old. In the interview, which resurfaced in the media on Monday, Tarantino said that Geimer was “dating the guy” and “wanted to have it.” Geimer responded by telling the Daily News that Tarantino was wrong, and the next day, the director called Geimer to personally apologize.

In a statement to IndieWire, Tarantino said:

… Fifteen years later, I realize how wrong I was. Ms. Geimer WAS raped by Roman 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.

Tarantino’s comments were made while promoting Kill Bill Vol. 1 on the Howard Stern Show. When the host asked about Polanski, Tarantino called Geimer a “party girl” and said the sex was consensual. “He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. He had sex with a minor,” Tarantino said. “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.”

The apology marked the second time this week that Tarantino has had to respond to public criticism. On Saturday, Uma Thurman said in a New York Times story that Tarantino persuaded her to perform a dangerous car stunt while filming Kill Bill that resulted in a crash and serious injury. Tarantino responded by saying the crash is the “biggest regret of his life.

Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977, but fled the country just before his sentencing in 1978. He’s continued to make films abroad up to the present day, including The Pianist in 2002, for which he won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Oscar for Best Director, among many other accolades.

Jaime Dunaway

Jaime Dunaway is a Slate intern.