Ever since the sexual assault and harassment allegations came out against ex-Miramax mogul Harvey Weinstein last fall, a question has been hanging in the air: What about Quentin Tarantino, one of Weinstein’s longest and closest collaborators? Initially, Tarantino was able to (temporarily) deflect criticism with a long interview with The New York Times about his relationship with Weinstein, but Uma Thurman’s story about her car crash on the set of Kill Bill has put Tarantino in the critical spotlight once more.
One of the more prominent critiques is based on a 2003 interview Tarantino did with Howard Stern that resurfaced in our sister publication Jezebel on Monday, in which he defends Roman Polanski and speaks in highly dismissive terms of Samantha Geimer—the then-13-year-old girl Polanski stands accused of raping in 1977—saying she “wanted to have it” and seemingly defending statutory rape. The story got international attention, leading Tarantino to issue an apology earlier today. Here it is, as it was issued to Indiewire:
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.
So, Ms. Geimer, I was ignorant, and insensitive, and above all, incorrect.
I am sorry Samantha.
Geimer responded to Tarantino’s remarks in advance of his apology on Tuesday, when she told the New York Daily News, “He was wrong. I bet he knows it ... I hope he doesn’t make an ass of himself and keep talking that way.” She added, “I’m not upset, but I would probably feel better if he realizes now that he was wrong, after 15 years, after hearing the facts. Nobody has to be pissed off on my behalf. I’m okay.” Geimer is one of two women who have accused Polanski of various charges of sexual assault and misconduct, in a case that was re-opened by the LAPD in December.