Sean Connery's Controversial Comments About Slapping Women Resurface After His Death

Sean Connery died on Saturday

Sean Connery
Sean Connery. Photo: Getty

Sean Connery may be remembered for numerous iconic film roles — from his five James Bond roles to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade — but the actor's past comments about slapping women resurfaced following his death on Saturday.

Connery first made remarks about slapping women when he spoke to Playboy in November 1965. "I don't think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman, although I don't recommend doing it in the same way that you'd hit a man," he told the publication.

Describing an "openhanded slap" as "justified," Connery also said it could be used "if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning," adding, "If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I'd do it."

Years later, during a sit-down with Barbara Walters in 1987, he elaborated on his quotes to Playboy. "I haven't changed my opinion... If you have tried everything else – and women are pretty good at this – they can't leave it alone. They want to have the last word and you give them the last word, but they're not happy with the last word. They want to say it again, and get into a really provocative situation, then I think it's absolutely right," he said.

Six years after his Barbara Walters interview, the actor spoke with Vanity Fair about his views. "But I was really saying that to slap a woman was not the crudest thing you can do to her. I said that in my book—it's much more cruel to psychologically damage somebody... to put them in such distress that they really come to hate themselves," he said. "Sometimes there are women who take it to the wire. That's what they're looking for, the ultimate confrontation—they want a smack."

Then, in 2006, he appeared to claim his previous remarks were taken out of context. "My view is I don't believe that any level of abuse against women is ever justified under any circumstances. Full stop," he told the Times of London.

That same year, his first wife Diane Cilento, who he was married to from 1962 to 1973, released her autobiography My Nine Lives, in which she alleged that Connery had abused her mentally and physically during their relationship. He previously denied the allegations.

"There was physical contact, but it is important to see it in context. You have got to remember he was probably twice my weight," she told The Scotsman in 2006.

Sean Connery and Diane Cilento
Hulton Archive/Getty

The actor wed his second wife, French-Moroccan artist Micheline Roquebrune in 1975. Cilento, who shared son Jason with Connery, died in October 2011.

On Saturday, Connery died overnight in his sleep while staying in the Bahamas. He was 90. A cause of death was not given.

"His wife Micheline and his two sons, Jason and Stephane have confirmed that he died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family," a rep for the actor told PEOPLE. "There will be a private ceremony followed by a memorial yet to be planned once the virus has ended."

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