Nate Parker Will Not Apologize for Rape Accusations in 60 Minutes Interview
Parker, who also wrote, produced and starred in the film, appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes, where he addressed the sexual assault controversy that has shadowed the film’s release, according to Variety.
“I was falsely accused … I went to court … I was vindicated,” Parker tells Anderson Cooper, according to a press release from 60 Minutes obtained by Variety. “I feel terrible that this woman isn’t here … her family had to deal with that, but as I sit here, an apology is – no.”
Parker, 36, was acquitted in a 2001 trial after an 18-year-old female classmate at Penn State accused Parker and his then-classmate and current collaborator Jean Celestin of sexual assault. Celestin was initially found guilty, but his conviction was later overturned on an appeal.
On 60 Minutes, Parker reportedly said he hoped that the controversy over the accusations wouldn’t cause a boycott of his biopic on Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion.
“I think that Nat Turner, as a hero, what he did in history, is bigger than me,” said Parker. “I think it’s bigger than all of us.”
While the episode has not aired yet, 60 Minutes released footage of some of the interview, including an excerpt in which Parker discusses his Christian faith.
“As a Christian man, just being in that situation, yeah sure,” Parker said. “I am 36-years-old right now … my faith is very important to me … so looking back through that lens … it’s not the lens I had when I was 19 years old.”
The 60 Minutes interview airs on Sunday. The Birth of a Nation hits theaters October 7.