- 04 Feb 19
Liam Neeson has revealed in a recent interview for The Independent, conducted by Clémence Michallon, that he walked the streets with a weapon, seeking the possibility of revenge as a result of a sexual assault on a friend.
Well known for his prolific career as an action-movie hero, Liam Neeson is one of Hollywood’s most celebrated actors. But in an eyebrow-raising disclosure, the Northern Ireland-born star detailed how, some time ago, he had learned that a woman he was close to was raped and that it took him about a week to process the information.
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” he told Clémence Michallon. “But my immediate reaction was I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person.
“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [Neeson gestures air quotes with his fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”
Neeson’s admission came while discussing his latest film Cold Pursuit, a revenge-thriller in which his character seeks an opportunity fot retaliation after his son is killed by a drug gang.
Neeson went on to say that he was ashamed of his previous behaviour. “It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that,” he said.
He also stated that the experience taught him a lesson about the futility of revenge.
“I come from a society – I grew up in Northern Ireland in the Troubles – and, you know, I knew a couple of guys that died on hunger strike, and I had acquaintances who were very caught up in the Troubles, and I understand that need for revenge – but it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing, and Northern Ireland’s proof of that,” explained Neeson. “All this stuff that’s happening in the world, the violence, is proof of that, you know. But that primal need, I understand.”
In a comment that also caused some controversy at the time, Neeson made the observation that the harassment allegations made against Harvey Weinstein and other high-profile celebrities were “a bit of a witch hunt”, in an interview for The Late Late Show last year.
No further statements have been made by Neeson or his agent concerning The Independent interview.