“It’s all f—kin’ bulls—t,” the actress, 40, told Vanity Fair at the amfAR Gala on Wednesday, February 6. “Dude, have you watched Widows? His tongue was so far down Viola Davis’ throat. You can’t call him a racist ever. Racists don’t make out with the race that they hate, especially in the way he does with his tongue — so deep down her throat. I don’t care how good of an actor you are. It’s all bulls—t. Ignore it. He’s not a racist. He’s a loving man. It’s all lies.”
The Fast and the Furious star isn’t the only one in Hollywood who has defended Neeson. Whoopi Goldberg also said the actor “isn’t a bigot.”
“I’ve known him a pretty long time; I think I would have recognized. I’ve been around a lot of real bigots. I can say this man is not one,” the View cohost, 63, said on the show. “You can’t be surprised that somebody whose loved one is attacked is angry and wants to go out and attack.”
The Cold Pursuit star, 66, came under fire on Monday, February 4, after The Independent published an interview where he admitted he once wanted to kill a man who raped one of his friends.
“There’s something primal — God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions,” the Taken star told the publication.
When the Oscar nominee learned that the woman was raped by “a black person,” he revealed that he went around with a crowbar, “hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that.”
“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that,” Neeson explained of using a club-like weapon. “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.”
One day after the interview was published, the Ireland native went on Good Morning America and insisted that he’s “not a racist.”
“I had never felt this feeling before, which was a primal urge to lash out,” he told GMA’s Robin Roberts. “There were some nights I went out deliberately into black areas in the city looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence. And I did it for, I’d say maybe, four or five times until I caught myself.”
Despite being engulfed in the controversy, Neeson seemed to be in good spirits at the Cold Pursuit premiere afterparty 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 onlooker told Us Weekly. “[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 added that Neeson “looked very happy and relaxed to be there.”