In 2003, Quentin Tarantino defended Roman Polanski's statutory rape plea by saying the 13-year-old girl 'wanted to have it and dated the guy'

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  • Quentin Tarantino defended filmmaker Roman Polanski in a 2003 interview with Howard Stern by saying the 13-year-old girl with whom Polanski had unlawful sex “was down with it.”
  • Tarantino became the subject of controversy on Saturday when actress Uma Thurman said in a New York Times story that Tarantino made her do a dangerous car stunt in “Kill Bill” that injured her.
  • In the same story, Thurman alleged that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her.
  • Thurman also said Tarantino “confronted” Weinstein over the alleged assault and made the producer apologise to her.
  • Tarantino told the Times in October, as the list of Weinstein sexual assault allegations grew, that he “knew enough to do more than I did” about Weinstein.

Quentin Tarantino – whom actress Uma Thurman recently said made her do a dangerous car stunt in “Kill Bill” that injured her – has become the subject of another controversy over comments he gave in a 2003 interview on The Howard Stern Show, surfaced by Jezebel on Monday.

In the interview, Tarantino defended filmmaker Roman Polanski, who in 1977 pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor – Samantha Gailey, who was 13 years old at the time.

Howard Stern asked Tarantino why Hollywood still embraced Polanski, “this mad man, this director who raped a 13-year-old.”

“He didn’t rape a 13-year-old,” Tarantino said in response. “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.”

When the show’s co-host Robin Quivers added that Polanski was charged with giving drugs to Gailey, who “didn’t want to have” sex with Polanski, Tarantino becomes more adamant in his defence:

Tarantino: No, that was not the case at all. She wanted to have it and dated the guy and –

Quivers: She was 13!

Tarantino: And by the way, we’re talking about America’s morals, not talking about the morals in Europe and everything.

Stern: Wait a minute. If you have sex with a 13-year-old girl and you’re a grown man, you know that that’s wrong.

Quivers: … giving her booze and pills …

Tarantino: Look, she was down with it.

In October 2017, Tarantino spoke out on the subject of his longtime producer Harvey Weinstein’s growing list of sexual assault allegations by telling The New York Times that he “knew enough to do more than I did. There was more to it than just the normal rumours, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”

In a Times story on Saturday, Thurman alleged that Weinstein sexually assaulted her. She also said that Tarantino “confronted” Weinstein over the alleged assault and made Weinstein apologise to her.

Tarantino’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Listen to the audio of the Howard Stern interview below:

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