Director Quentin Tarantino said fellow director Roman Polanski “didn’t rape” a 13-year-old girl he pleaded guilty to having sex with in the 1970s and that Polanski’s victim “wanted to have it,” Variety reported, citing 2003 audio that just resurfaced online.
Polanski was arrested in 1977 for rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy and lewd and lascivious acts upon a child under 14, the outlet said, adding that Polanski fled the United States after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor.
In the 2003 interview, shock jock Howard Stern insisted to Tarantino that Polanski raped a 13-year-old girl, but Tarantino pushed back and defended Polanski:
He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape, alright? That’s not quite the same thing, alright? … He had sex with a minor, alright? 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 … Throwing the word “rape” around is like throwing the word “racist” around, OK? It doesn’t apply to everything that people use it for, alright? … He was guilty of having sex with a minor, alright?
Stern’s co-host Robin Quivers argued that Polanski’s victim didn’t want to have sex with him, but Tarantino didn’t see it that way.
“No, that was not the case at all,” he replied. “She wanted to have it and dated the guy.”
“She was 13!” Quivers shouted back.
Tarantino then argued that “we’re talking about America’s morals. We’re not talking about the morals in Europe and everything, alright?” Polanski is European.
Stern wasn’t siding with Tarantino, either.
“Wait a minute,” Stern said. “If you have sex with a 13-year-old girl and you’re a grown man, you know that that’s wrong.”
Tarantino then said, “Look, she was down with this” and later said the victim has “talked about it since … ‘No, he didn’t really do anything to me. It was a technicality for being 13.’”
Stern also asked Tarantino, “Would you ever seduce a 13-year-old with pills and booze?”
“No, no, no,” the director replied. “Again, you’re killing him with the pills and booze thing, alright?”
Audio of the interview was pulled from YouTube Tuesday over a Sirius XM copyright claim, Variety said, but it has shown up on other platforms.