In 2003, while promoting Kill Bill, Quentin Tarantino appeared on Howard Stern’s radio show, where he effectively blamed Roman Polanski rape victim Samantha Geimer by stating that she “wanted to have it” with the exiled Polish director. After the audio resurfaced this week, Geimer issued an official (and fairly compassionate) response, in which she called Tarantino’s remarks “obviously incorrect.” It didn’t take long for Tarantino to issue an official statement of his own, formally apologizing to Geimer for his upsetting comments.

The audio clip made the rounds in the wake of Uma Thurman’s disturbing revelations in The New York Times regarding her own alleged assault by Harvey Weinstein and a harrowing car crash on the set of Kill Bill that’s led many to condemn Tarantino for fostering an unsafe work environment. (Thurman and Tarantino both subsequently clarified her feelings on the matter; the two remain close friends.)

But Tarantino’s remarks about Samantha Geimer added fuel to the fire, when a 2003 interview with Howard Stern resurfaced in which the director claims that Polanski did not rape a 13-year-old Geimer; instead, he says, she “wanted to have it.” Geimer spoke with The Daily News about Tarantino’s comments, noting that although she’s a fan of the director and his work, “He was wrong,” adding, “I bet he knows it”:

I hope he doesn’t make an ass of himself and keep talking that way. He is obviously incorrect. Hopefully by now he knows that it didn’t happen that way.

“I’m not upset,” Geimer said, “but I would probably feel better if he realizes now that he was wrong, after 15 years, after hearing the facts.”

As it turns out, Tarantino has had a change of heart in the 15 years since. After personally phoning Geimer to apologize, Tarantino issued an official statement of apology:

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.

Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino’s remarks about Polanski are particularly concerning given both the director’s position in the Weinstein scandal, and the recent news that his upcoming film — which is set around the Manson family murders — will feature a fictionalized version of Polanski and his late wife, Sharon Tate.

That film will hit theaters next August, on the anniversary of Tate’s death.

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