Director Quentin Tarantino has apologized to Samantha Geimer, the woman who at age 13 was drugged and raped by Roman Polanski, for comments Tarantino made in 2003 during an appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show.
Describing his remarks as “cavalier,” Tarantino now says he was playing “devil’s advocate” in claiming that young Geimer had “wanted” to have sex with the adult Polanski back in 1977, and that statutory rape is “not rape.”
Today, Tarantino issued the following statement:
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.
After the Stern recording surfaced earlier this week, Geimer told the New York Daily News that Tarantino’s comments were “wrong. I bet he knows it.”
Tarantino’s offensive comments were made during the 2003 interview when Stern asked about Hollywood’s forgiveness of Polanski. “He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape,” Tarantino said, adding, “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.”
When Stern co-host Robin Quivers reminded Tarantino that the 13-year-old Geimer had been drugged (with Quaaludes and alcohol), Tarantino said, “No, that was not the case at all. She wanted to have it and dated the guy.”
“Look,” Tarantino said, “she was down with this.” He called Geimer a “party girl.”
“I’m not upset,” Geimer told the Daily News, “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…It’s not a big deal to me what people think. It doesn’t make a difference in my life. I know what happened. I do not need other people weighing in on what it’s like getting raped at 13.”