Nate Parker has made it clear that he’s not going to say sorry for beating a rape accusation in court while he was in college.
“I was falsely accused,” the “Birth of a Nation” writer-director-star-producer, 36, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday. “I was proven innocent and I’m not going to apologize for that.”
The rape case he became embroiled in occurred nearly two decades ago at Penn State. It was amplified by the media this year when it became known that the woman who accused Parker and his classmate, “Birth of a Nation” co-writer Jean Celestin, of rape in college had committed suicide in 2012.
Parker initially wanted to use his “GMA” appearance to discuss his film, but co-host Robin Roberts pressed with rape questions, asking, “You have a daughter in college… what do you tell her?”
“She knows how I feel about her and I’ve addressed it so many times,” Parker said.
The unnamed woman, an 18-year-old student, alleged that Parker and Celestin both engaged in nonconsensual sex with her while she was unconscious, according to criminal complaints reviewed by The Daily Beast. The events were said to transpire “on or around” October 1999.
The accuser addressed the incident with her college counselor two-and-a-half weeks after it allegedly occurred, according to a civil complaint obtained by TheWrap, which was filed after criminal charges. The counselor advised the woman to call the police and see a doctor.
Both Parker and Celestin, who were 19 at the time, said the sex was consensual, and Parker has restated this position in interviews throughout the years. Parker was acquitted of all charges in a 2001 criminal trial that some outlets described as “swift.”
Celestin was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to six months of jail time. He appealed the verdict and was granted a new trial. The case was eventually dropped.
In 2002, the accuser gave birth to a son whom her family referred to as the only bright spot in her adult life. The woman took her own life in 2012.
“I feel terribly about that situation,” Parker said told Roberts.
“The Birth of a Nation” hits theaters on Friday.
Watch the video above.