Director Quentin Tarantino is under fire after an audio clip resurfaced of a 2003 interview from the Howard Stern Show which caught the director saying that sex with a 13-year-old wasn’t rape.
Roman Polanski, a popular film director in Hollywood, remains a fugitive from the U.S. after he was convicted of drugging and raping a minor in 1977.
Stern, who was shocked to hear Tarantino defend Polanski, pressed him on the matter. When asked how he could defend a rapist, Tarantino told Stern that Polanski “didn’t rape a 13-year-old” girl. He added, “It was statutory rape, alright? That’s not quite the same thing… 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.”
Tarantino insisted that people should be careful about using the word rape because it’s “like throwing the word ‘racist’ around,” and something like that “doesn’t apply to everything people use it for.”
When Robin Quivers, Stern’s partner, argued that the girl was drugged and never consented to any of it, Tarantino disputed the accusation, "No, that was not the case at all. She wanted to have it and dated the guy."
After Stern read the transcript out loud, Tarantino claimed the 13-year-old was lying to get out of trouble with her mom, that the girl was “down to party,” and was one of “these 13-year-old party girls.”
Listen to the full exchange below.