Quentin Tarantino under fire for defending Roman Polanski: ‘That’s not rape’

Quentin Tarantino has come under fire after an interview of him defending Roman Polanski resurfaced online.

Polanski pleaded guilty to statutory rape in 1978 when 13-year-old Samantha Geimer accused him of drugging her and sexually assaulting her at a party – before another woman came forward in August, accusing him of ‘sexually victimising’ her when she was 16 in 1973.

However, this week saw Jezebel re-share the audio of an interview between Tarantino and Howard Stern in 2003, in which the Kill Bill director argued that the case was actually one of ‘statutory rape’, and that Geimer ‘wanted to have it’.

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

After Howard Stern attempted to argue that this was not the case, Tarantino then said that the young girl was “down with this”.

The interview re-emerging has since sparked a huge backlash online:

Polanski is currently living as a fugitive in France and has been on the run for nearly 40 years. He made a plea agreement with authorities handling the Geimer case in which some charges were dropped and he promised he would spend 48 days in custody to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

On his release, he fled the States, fearing the agreement would be ignored and he would be sent to prison.

Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski

Meanwhile, Tarantino made headlines this week when Uma Thurman spoke out about an “unforgivable” car crash and subsequent cover-up on the set of Kill Bill.

A piece appeared in the New York Times in which the actor accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, and claimed that Tarantino had persuaded her to drive a car she described as “a deathbox”, but added that she did not believe the director had any malicious intent and was later very “apologetic”.  Weinstein admitted that he had propositioned Thurman, but denied ever physically assaulting her.

Tarantino then spoke out to explain his role in the incident, revealing that he though the road would be safe. He also revealed that he was aware and unhappy about the allegations made against Weinstein.

Harvey Weinstein denies the allegations of sexual misconduct.