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That Time Quentin Tarantino Said Roman Polanski Didn’t Rape 13-Year-Old: ‘She Wanted to Have It’

2003 Howard Stern interview resurfaces as Tarantino comes under fire for delayed response to Harvey Weinstein scandal

A 2003 radio interview with Quentin Tarantino has resurfaced this week in which the filmmaker says that the 13-year-old girl Roman Polanski was convicted of raping in 1977 “wanted to have it.”

On Howard Stern’s radio show, the host cut back to some old tape of Tarantino praising Polanski for winning an Oscar: “Were you happy when Roman Polanski won the Oscar?”

“Yeah, that was pretty cool, actually, yeah,” Tarantino said.

“What’s so great about a rapist being the recipient of Hollywood’s highest honor?” the interviewer pressed.

“I don’t consider him a rapist,” Tarantino said.

Stern then pressed Tarantino about it, saying he didn’t understand how a man who pled guilty to unlawful sex with a minor could still be respected in Hollywood.

“How come Hollywood embraces this madman, this director who raped a 13-year-old?” Stern said.

“He didn’t rape a 13-year-old, it was statutory rape… That’s not quite the same thing,” Tarantino said. “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 one of the most violent crimes in the world. You can’t throw the word rape around, is like throwing the word racist around… it just doesn’t apply to everything that people use it for.”

“He was guilty of having sex with a minor,” he continued. A contributor on Stern’s show cut in to say that it was sex she didn’t want to have. “No, that was not the case at all. She wanted to have it,” Tarantino said. “And by the way, we’re talking about America’s morals, we’re not talking about the morals of Europe and everything.”

Stern cut in, saying that Tarantino had to know it’s wrong to have sex with a 13-year-old as a grown man.

“Look, she was down with it,” Tarantino said.

A rep for Tarantino did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the resurfacing of the interview.

Listen to the rest of the Stern interview above.

Tarantino made headlines this week after a New York Times interview with Uma Thurman, in which she discusses a car crash scene in “Kill Bill” she said she asked not to do herself and caused the actress permanent neck damage.

Thurman later said that she does not believe Tarantino had any “malicious intent” in wanting her to perform the stunt herself, and said he is “remorseful” about the event. The director said in an interview with Deadline that the car crash scene is “the biggest regret of my life.”

Additionally, Tarantino’s next movie is about the murder of Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate.