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Quentin Tarantino Apologizes For Saying Roman Polanski's 13-Year-Old Victim "Wanted To Have It"

Tarantino told Howard Stern in 2003 that Roman Polanski's 13-year-old victim "wanted to have it."

Last updated on February 8, 2018, at 1:41 p.m. ET

Posted on February 6, 2018, at 4:08 p.m. ET

Quentin Tarantino has apologized to Roman Polanski's rape victim for telling Howard Stern she "wanted to have it" in a 2003 interview. In a statement to Indiewire, the director says his "cavalier remarks" about the crime were the result of him playing "devil's advocate."

"I want to publicly apologize to Samantha Geimer for my cavalier remarks on The Howard Stern Show speculating about her and the crime that was committed against her. Fifteen years later, I realize how wrong I was. Ms. Geimer WAS raped by Roman Polanski. When Howard brought up 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," Tarantino said in his statement. "So, Ms. Geimer, I was ignorant, and insensitive, and above all, incorrect. I am sorry Samantha."
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

"I want to publicly apologize to Samantha Geimer for my cavalier remarks on The Howard Stern Show speculating about her and the crime that was committed against her. Fifteen years later, I realize how wrong I was. Ms. Geimer WAS raped by Roman Polanski. When Howard brought up 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," Tarantino said in his statement. "So, Ms. Geimer, I was ignorant, and insensitive, and above all, incorrect. I am sorry Samantha."

Amid revelations that Tarantino personally choked and spit on Uma Thurman for scenes in Kill Bill, as well as choked Diane Kruger for Inglourious Basterds, the director faced a fresh round of criticism for the comments he made in an interview with Stern in 2003, in which he said Polanski's 13-year-old rape victim "wanted to have it."

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In the audio resurfaced by Jezebel, Tarantino defended the Rosemary's Baby director after Stern says "this mad man, this director who raped a 13-year-old,” referring to Polanski's 1977 sexual assault case.

Lionel Bonaventure / AFP / Getty Images

Polanski remains a fugitive after fleeing the US in 1977 before his sentencing in Los Angeles for unlawful sex with Samantha Geimer when she was 13.

Geimer told a grand jury that Polanski had given her Champagne and a quaalude, a powerful sedative, before raping her.

Polanski was indicted on charges of rape, sodomy, committing a lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and giving drugs to a minor. But Geimer's family asked prosecutors to spare their daughter the trauma of testifying at what would surely be an intensely watched trial, so they offered Polanski a deal and he pleaded guilty to a far lesser charge of unlawful intercourse. However, he fled to Poland before formal sentencing and has avoided extradition attempts ever since.

Tarantino told Stern on his program that, despite the grand jury transcripts, what happened wasn't rape.

“He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape...he had sex with a minor. That’s not rape," Tarantino said. "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.”

When Stern's colleague, Robin Quivers, pointed out that the 13-year-old was given alcohol and sedatives in addition to not consenting, Tarantino countered, "No, that was not the case AT ALL. She wanted to have it and dated the guy."

Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

Stern's crew and Tarantino eventually came to an impasse, with the Kill Bill director maintaining Polanski's victim "was down with this," and implying that the situation would be fine under European morals.

Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images

Since the interview resurfaced, many people on social media have said they were giving up on Tarantino.

SORRY YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS FUCK QUENTIN TARANTINO YOU ARE FUCKING CANCELLED. https://t.co/ucjMfftBdO

Like fucking spiting on an actresses face and choking her wasn't enough. Fuck this guy. Fuck anyone who works with… https://t.co/oQtC9VBTil

When Howard Stern is the voice and reason and dignity... Tarantino insists what happened to Samantha Geimer happene… https://t.co/ydxGZAg0fi

This is absolutely disgusting. It made me ill. I don't even have words to describe how awful this is. https://t.co/J7aAjJ6H2d

Critics included Polanski's victim, who tweeted she is "no longer a fan."

@Daverbio @THR Honestly, his new film on the Manson murders is just sickening if you ask me. I understand, nothing… https://t.co/GN8DuqkMoV

BuzzFeed News has reached out to a representative for Tarantino for comment.

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