With Birth of a Nation promo right around the corner, Nate Parker is coming forward to address a rape charge that was filed against him 17 years ago. Find out why we’re giving him the side-eye inside…
With Birth of a Nation gaining momentum and Oscar buzz, writer/director/producer Nate Parker is coming forward to speak on his personal life before his life is laid out for the masses. With his slave revolt film nabbing the biggest deal in the Sundance Film Festival’s history ($17.5 million) and the media attention surrounding the film, Nate’s past will likely be examined bit by bit. The talk could tarnish the film, so he’s “jumping the gun” so to speak.
Here’s the backstory…
In 1999, Nate and his roommate Jean McGianni Celestin (who co-wrote Birth of a Nation with him) were charged with raping an 18-year-old female while attending Penn State University in their apartment after a night of drinking.
The former college wrestler admitted to having sex with the young lady previous to the encounter that was in question, but said it was consensual. Nate was suspended from the wrestling team and later transferred to a college in Oklahoma.
In 2001, Nate was eventually acquitted. Meanwhile, Jean was initially found guilty of sexual assault, and then the conviction was overturned after an appeal.
Now, Nate wants to give his side of what went down before everyone forms an opinion about the situation. He called up Variety recently and Deadline to speak his piece and to let everyone know he has since moved on from the situation.
He told Variety,
“Seventeen years ago, I experienced a very painful moment in my life,” Parker told Variety. “It resulted in it being litigated. I was cleared of it. That’s that. Seventeen years later, I’m a filmmaker. I have a family. I have five beautiful daughters. I have a lovely wife. I get it. The reality is” — he took a long silence — “I can’t relive 17 years ago. All I can do is be the best man I can be now.”
He added that he’s an open book, but he will not keep reliving that “painful” period of his life.
“There are numerous things that are surfacing,” he said. “But I’ve always been an open book. I’m an advocate of justice. I’m an older man. I’ve matured a lot. I’ve had many obstacles in my life. I grew up very poor. My father passed away. There are so many things that happened. At the same time, I am the man that I am. I am open to the scrutiny. I will never hide anything from my past.”
“I will not re-live that period of my life every time I go under the microscope.”
Interestingly, he did an interview with Deadline a few months ago with almost the exact same responses
Folks on the net have plenty to say about Nate calling up media outlets to “share his side” of what went down. People also find it interesting that he says he will no longer "relive" or address the issue, even though he was acquitted. It's interesting to say the least. Thoughts?