For the first time, Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino is speaking out about the release of controversial footage from a stunt gone wrong on the set of "Kill Bill." Actress Uma Thurman, who was badly injured, shared the never-before-seen video of the car crash with the New York Times.
Thurman told the New York Times that Tarantino promised the scene was safe. In the same article, Thurman also.
The closing credits of "Kill Bill: Volume 2" show Thurman's character driving down a road. But a reverse angle was never seen until last week, reports CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan. The silent video showed her drifting off the road and smashing into a palm tree, where she suffered a concussion, damage to her knees and a permanent neck injury. Tarantino is seen checking on her. She told the New York Times she was nervous about shooting the scene, but a "furious" Tarantino promised her the car was fine. Thurman also told the Times that in "Kill Bill," Tarantino spat in her face during a scene where Michael Madsen is seen on screen doing it and choked her with a chain in the scene where a teenager named Gogo is on screen doing it.
In the interview with Deadline Hollywood, Tarantino denies getting angry but says the decision to convince her to do the scene is "beyond one of the biggest regrets of my career, it is one of the biggest regrets of my life... A trust was broken."
The director also said that he personally spit on Thurman because he wasn't sure that Madsen could do it properly himself, saying, "I can't have you laying here, getting spit on, again and again and again, because somebody else is messing it up by missing. It is hard to spit on people, as it turns out." He claimed that Thurman suggested he choke her himself to make the scene look more authentic. Tarantino blamed Times writer Maureen Dowd for skewing the incidents as "sadistic" on his part.
Thurman told the Times she considered suing, but Weinstein's studio Miramax said it would only show her the footage if she signed a document waiving liability. She refused.
In an Instagram post Monday, Thurman said she does not blame Tarantino, who helped her obtain the footage. But she said "the cover up did have malicious intent," holding two of the film's producers and the "notorious Harvey Weinstein solely responsible."
"They lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and chose to suppress," Thurman wrote.
"I don't know if there was anything nefarious to it, but Tarantino seems to have confirmed that other people didn't want her to see the footage," IndieWire Weekend Editor Michael Nordine said.
In a statement to CBS News, a spokesperson for Weinstein said: "This is the first time he has learned that Ms. Thurman had any issues regarding the handling of her accident." In regards to her sexual assault allegations, a Weinstein spokesperson told the Times he denies making more than a "pass" at Thurman and has apologized.