‘The cover up’

Complicated portrait of Quentin Tarantino emerges amid Uma Thurman’s stunning revelations

Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman attend the Closing Ceremony and 'A Fistful of Dollars' screening during the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 24, 2014 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Uma Thurman has taken to Instagram to say she does not believe director Quentin Tarantino intended to harm her when he convinced her to drive what she believed to be an unsafe car during the filming of Kill Bill, rather than employing the services of a stuntwoman. The vehicle crashed and left her with a “permanently damaged neck and screwed-up knees.”

Two weeks after the accident, Thurman was told by Miramax that she wouldn’t be allowed to see footage of the crash unless she signed away her right to sue the company. Tarantino, she told The New York Times, also refused to let her see the footage until 15 years after the crash. But in an Instagram post on Tuesday, Thurman shared footage of the crash and said she didn’t believe Tarantino had “malicious intent” toward her — even if “the circumstances of this event were negligent to the point of criminality.” She also thanked the director for finding the courage, many years later, to share the footage with her despite his “full knowledge it could cause him personal harm.” What she was unwilling to forgive, she said, was the “cover up” of the accident by Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein and Kill Bill producers Lawrence Bender and E. Bennett Walsh.

“They lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress,” she wrote. “The cover up did have malicious intent, and shame on these three for all eternity.”

View this post on Instagram

i post this clip to memorialize it’s full exposure in the nyt by Maureen Dowd. the circumstances of this event were negligent to the point of criminality. i do not believe though with malicious intent. Quentin Tarantino, was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry event, and gave me the footage years later so i could expose it and let it see the light of day, regardless of it most likely being an event for which justice will never be possible. he also did so with full knowledge it could cause him personal harm, and i am proud of him for doing the right thing and for his courage. THE COVER UP after the fact is UNFORGIVABLE. for this i hold Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh, and the notorious Harvey Weinstein solely responsible. they lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress. the cover up did have malicious intent, and shame on these three for all eternity. CAA never sent anyone to Mexico. i hope they look after other clients more respectfully if they in fact want to do the job for which they take money with any decency.

A post shared by Uma Thurman (@ithurman) on

Speaking with Deadline Hollywood, Tarantino said that failing to test Thurman’s driving route was “one of my most horrendous mistakes,” although he stopped short of admitting that the car was dangerous. He also acknowledged that he spat in Thurman’s face and choked her for scenes in Kill Bill, but said that he did so for the sake of realism in the movie and that Thurman had agreed to it. He added that Thurman hadn’t meant for anger over the article to “roll over onto me,” pointing out that the article was centered around Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual assault of Thurman. He also questioned why “no one seemed to care about the Harvey stuff.”

Not everyone is prepared to exonerate Tarantino for his alleged role in the crash — or his complicity in Weinstein’s abuses and alleged crimes. In an article for Jezebel, Madeleine Davies noted that Tarantino had defended Roman Polanski’s 1977 sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show in 2003.

Asked by Stern how major Hollywood figures like himself could continue to celebrate “this mad man, this director who raped a 13-year-old,” Tarantino had swiftly jumped to Polanski’s defense.

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

When Stern’s co-host, Robin Quivers, reminded Tarantino that Polanski’s victim had been sedated with quaaludes and alcohol and that she had repeatedly said she hadn’t wanted to have sex with him, the director insistently claimed that “she was down with this,” and went on a rant about “America’s morals.”

“That was not the case AT ALL,” Tarantino said. “She wanted to have it and dated the guy.”

This past October, Polanski was further accused of having molested a 10-year-old girl in 1975.

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times, Deadline Hollywood, BBC News, and Jezebel.

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