Liam Neeson has been engulfed in controversy since confessing that he once wanted to “kill” a black man, but the actor did not show any signs of distress while attending the Cold Pursuit premiere afterparty at The Skylark in New York City on Tuesday, February 5.
“He was right there at the entrance where guests were filing in like he was the father of the bride,” an eyewitness tells Us Weekly exclusively. “[He] happily took photos with people who asked. He then made his way into the party and chatted with lots of people, including castmate Tom Bateman.”
The onlooker tells Us that Neeson, 66, “looked very happy and relaxed to be there” despite the scandal.
Though the Oscar nominee attended the afterparty, he opted to skip the action movie’s premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 earlier in the night. The screening went on as scheduled, but the red carpet was canceled.
Neeson confessed in an interview published by The Independent on Monday, February 4, that he considered killing a black man who raped his friend nearly 40 years ago. He recalled walking “up and down” the streets in search of revenge with a bludgeon in his hand.
“I’m ashamed to say that,” he said. “I did it for maybe a week, hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”
The Schindler’s List star told the British newspaper that it took him about a “week and a half” to realize “it was horrible … that I did that.”
After his comments started making headlines, Neeson addressed the backlash during a sit-down interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America on Tuesday. He insisted he is “not racist” before revealing that he “did seek help” and confessed his actions to a priest.
With reporting by Nicki Gostin