Brow Beat

Uma Thurman Posts Footage of Her Kill Bill Car Crash on Instagram, Blames Weinstein and Others for Cover-Up

Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman stand on a red carpet. In the background, a photographer's bulb flashes.
Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman. Boris Horvat/Getty Images

Uma Thurman has posted footage on Instagram of the car crash that took place during the filming of Kill Bill, an incident she recently recounted to Maureen Dowd in the New York Times. In the piece, the actress described several disturbing encounters with Harvey Weinstein, including one in which she says he pushed her and tried to expose himself to her. (Weinstein’s team has characterized the incident as Weinstein making an “awkward pass” at Thurman and claims there was no physical contact.) But Thurman also shared a startling story that wasn’t directly about Weinstein, at least on the surface, describing a car crash that occurred while she was filming Kill Bill.

Thurman told Dowd that four days before the end of Kill Bill’s nine-month shoot in Mexico, director Quentin Tarantino insisted that she drive a reconfigured Volkswagen Karmann Ghia down a road at 40 mph, even though Thurman had reason to believe the car was unsafe and asked for a stunt double. The Times ran footage from the resulting crash in the online version of their piece, which shows Thurman lose control of the vehicle and strike a tree, resulting in a concussion and neck and knee injuries.

“The steering wheel was at my belly and my legs were jammed under me,” she says. “I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again,’” she says. “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. Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me.”

On Monday, Thurman posted the footage to her own Instagram account, but this time, she directed the blame away from Tarantino:

Thurman told the Times that the crash, and Tarantino’s refusal to let her see the footage of it afterward, led to a rift between them that ended their professional relationship. But in her Instagram post, Thurman praised Tarantino for finally giving her the tape 15 years later, writing that he “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, regardless of it most likely being an event for which justice will never be possible.”

She added that Tarantino “also 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.” Instead, she blamed three other individuals for allegedly covering up the incident: producers Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh, and Weinstein, who she says “lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress.”

None of those men has publicly responded to Thurman’s accusations at this time.