Quentin Tarantino has found himself in hot water. In a newly resurfaced interview, the 54-year-old director defended Roman Polanski for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in the late 1970s.
“She wanted to have it and dated the guy. … She was down with this,” Tarantino told Howard Stern in 2003.
Polanski, 84, was arrested and charged in Los Angeles in March 1977 after raping Samantha Gailey (now Geimer). The teenager testified at the time that the Rosemary’s Baby director gave her champagne and a quaalude before performing oral, vaginal and anal sex on her despite repeated refusals. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor after accepting a plea bargain, but fled to France in February 1978, just a few hours before his sentencing.
“He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape. That’s not quite the same thing. He had sex with a minor,” Tarantino said of Polanski in the 2003 interview. “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. It’s like throwing the word ‘racist’ around. It doesn’t apply to everything people use it for.”
Still, the Kill Bill director conceded that if the victim were his own daughter, he would have “beat the hell out of” Polanski.
Us Weekly has reached out to Tarantino’s rep for comment.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on Youtube!