Quentin Tarantino calls Uma Thurman car crash "biggest regret of my life"

Thurmann believes the incident was covered up in the years afterwards

Quentin Tarantino calls Uma Thurman car crash "biggest regret of my life"

Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, 24-04-2017. Image: Briquet-Hahn-Marechal/ABACA/PA Images

Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino has called a car crash involving Uma Thurman during the shooting of Kill Bill "the biggest regret of my life."

The acclaimed director was responding to a New York Times column in which journalist Maureen Dowd interviews Thurman regarding her alleged sex attack at the hands of Harvey Weinstein.

In the interview, the journalist also quotes Thurman as saying she suffered a traumatising car crash while shooting Tarantino's Kill Bill - something which she claims the director "persuaded" her to do.

Thurman has accused Harvey Weinstein and his film company of covering up the car crash and posted a video of it online.

She has claimed she was forced to do the scene despite the fact that she had concerns over how safe it was.

 

i post this clip to memorialize it’s full exposure in the nyt by Maureen Dowd. the circumstances of this event were negligent to the point of criminality. i do not believe though with malicious intent. Quentin Tarantino, was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry event, and gave me the footage years later so i could expose it and let it see the light of day, regardless of it most likely being an event for which justice will never be possible. he also did so with full knowledge it could cause him personal harm, and i am proud of him for doing the right thing and for his courage. THE COVER UP after the fact is UNFORGIVABLE. for this i hold Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh, and the notorious Harvey Weinstein solely responsible. they lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress. the cover up did have malicious intent, and shame on these three for all eternity. CAA never sent anyone to Mexico. i hope they look after other clients more respectfully if they in fact want to do the job for which they take money with any decency.

A post shared by Uma Thurman (@ithurman) on

She said it took director Tarantino 15 years to pass the footage on to her - but added that she did not believe he had withheld it maliciously and they were now on good terms.

Crash

In the footage posted on Instagram she can be seen struggling to control the convertible Karmann Ghia before crashing into a palm tree and hitting her head on the passenger seat while filming in Mexico for the first Kill Bill movie in 2002.

She is seen holding the side of her head before slumping backwards motionless then breathing heavily and rolling her head as a crew member reaches into the car and checks her pulse.

Thurman called the circumstances "negligent to the point of criminality."

She said she expressed concerns to director Tarantino about driving the car which she had been warned was faulty.

She claims he told her: "I promise you the car is fine. It's a straight piece of road.

"Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won't blow the right way and I'll make you do it again."

The 47-year-old actress added: "But that was a deathbox that I was in. The seat wasn't screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road."

She has excused Tarantino, saying he remains remorseful about the incident and gave her the footage "with full knowledge it could cause him personal harm."

The actress said she sees it as "atoning" for the danger he put her in, adding that she was "proud of him for doing the right thing."

Uma Thurman attending the 71st Annual Tony Awards in New York City, 11-06-2017. Image: Van Tine Dennis/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

Tarantino response

In an interview with Deadline Magazine published yesterday evening, Tarantino described the incident as “the biggest regret of my life, getting her to do that stunt.”

However he also rejected claims that he was “furious” over her hesitation to drive the car, claiming, “Far from me being mad, livid and angry, I was all…smiley. I said, Oh, Uma, it’s just fine. You can totally do this.”

He said he never heard anything about the car being unsafe - adding that any concerns over the car should have been raised with the producers or first assistant director of the film.

Straight road

The director claimed the road was straight when he test-drove the car in one direction, adding that they eventually shot the scene in the opposite direction for lighting purposes only to meet an unanticipated S-curve in the road.

“Beyond one of the biggest regrets of my career, it is one of the biggest regrets of my life,” he said. “For a myriad of reasons.”

“I thought, ‘a straight road is a straight road’ and I didn’t think I needed to run the road again to make sure there wasn’t any difference, going in the opposite direction.

“Again, that is one of the biggest regrets of my life.

“As a director, you learn things and sometimes you learn them through horrendous mistakes.

“That was one of my most horrendous mistakes; that I didn’t take the time to run the road, one more time, just to see what I would see.”

"Taking the heat”

He said he knew the New York Times piece was happening, adding "Uma and I had talked about it, for a long period of time, deciding how she was going to do it."

The director found the footage himself, going "through storage facilities and pulling out boxes", and was "happy" to give to her 15 years later.

"The thing is, Uma had people she wanted to indict, for that cover-up," Tarantino explained.

"Part of my job on the piece was to do an interview with Maureen Dowd, and back up Uma's claims. And we never hooked up. Me and Dowd never hooked up."

The Kill Bill filmmaker claims the people Thurman really wanted to put on a spotlight "lawyered up", which made it impossible for Dowd to mention them in the piece.

"I ended up taking the hit and taking the heat," he said.

Cover-up

However, Thurmann has said the alleged "cover up after the fact is unforgiveable", blaming "the notorious Harvey Weinstein," among others.

She also rages against her agents at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for their lack of concern.

She said: "They lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress.

"The cover up did have malicious intent, and shame on these three for all eternity.

"CAA never sent anyone to Mexico.

"I hope they look after other clients more respectfully if they in fact want to do the job for which they take money with any decency."

Sexual harrassment

The video release comes just days after she claimed she was sexually attacked by Weinstein in London's Savoy Hotel.

Weinstein has acknowledged making "an awkward pass" 25 years ago at Thurman after "misreading her signals" but a spokesman said he "immediately apologised."

His spokesman said her claims of physical assault are "untrue" and Weinstein is "saddened and puzzled" why his "colleague and friend" has made these allegations now.

With reporting from IRN ...