Quentin Tarantino defended accused rapist Roman Polanski in a 2003 interview with Howard Stern, claiming 13-year-old Samantha Geimer (née Samantha Gailey) was “down to party” with the director when he drugged her and raped her.
In audio unearthed and released by Jezebel, Tarantino engages in a heated debate with Stern and radio personality Robin Quivers over the accusations levelled at Tarantino that date back to 1977.
Before fleeing the Unites States prior to being sentenced, Polanski plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
“How come Hollywood embraces this madman, this director who raped a 13-year-old?” Stern asked Tarantino.
“He didn’t rape a 13-year-old,” the director replied. “It was statutory rape… 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 like one of the most violent crimes in the world. You can’t throw the word rape around. It’s like throwing the word ‘racist’ around. It doesn’t apply to everything people use it for.”
The debate went on, with Tarantino taking issue with Stern’s claims Polanski’s victim did not want to have sex with the then 43-year-old.
“No, that was not the case AT ALL. She wanted to have it and dated the guy and…,” he said, before being cut off by Quivers exclaiming “she was 13!”
“And by the way,” Tarantino added, “we’re talking about America’s morals, not talking about the morals in Europe and everything.
“Wait a minute,” Stern replied, “if you have sex with a 13-year-old girl and you’re a grown man, you know that that’s wrong.”
“Look, she was down with this,” Tarantino said.
Tarantino went on to say Polanski isn’t “a friend or anything” – in fact, he claimed they had only met once prior to 2003 – but that Polanski’s version of events “sounds more likely”, saying 13-year-old Geimer was “down to party with Roman”.