Quentin Tarantino has broken his silence on the brutal crash involving Uma Thurman on the set of Kill Bill 15 years ago, saying the stunt has been the biggest regret of his life.
Tarantino has been feeling the heat ever since Thurman shared details of the crash and the injuries she suffered for a New York Times article over the weekend in which for the first time she accused producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
The 47-year-old actress said the on-set crash in Mexico in 2002 left her suffering concussion and damaged knees.
She shared the full footage of the incident on her Instagram on Monday showing the moment she crashed into a tree while filming Tarantino’s action movie.
Thurman clarified that Tarantino had given her the footage before adding that he was ‘deeply regretful and remains remorseful’ over the incident.
She made it clear that she blames producer Harvey Weinstein and accused him of lying and destroying evidence.
Quentin Tarantino has broken his silence on the brutal crash involving Uma Thurman on the set of Kill Bill 15 years ago, saying the stunt has been the biggest regret of his life. They are pictured together in 2003
Tarantino, who has drawn criticism ever since the details of the crash emerged, told Deadline confirmed that he was the one who gave the footage to Thurman to help her with the NYT article.
He said he dug up the 15-year-old footage after speaking to Thurman for sometime about how she was going to reveal her encounters with Weinstein.
‘Uma and I had talked about it, for a long period of time, deciding how she was going to do it. She wanted clarity on what happened in that car crash, after all these years,’ he said.
Tarantino added the he ‘ended up taking the hit and taking the heat’ when the NYT article was published.
The Kill Bill director recalled in great detail the day Thurman was injured while filming the driving scene.
He said no one considered it a stunt given it was just driving, but when Thurman voiced concerns he personally drove down the road to test it out and informed her it was safe.
‘I came in there all happy telling her she could totally do it, it was a straight line, you will have no problem. Uma’s response was… ‘Okay.’ Because she believed me. Because she trusted me. I told her it would be okay. I told her the road was a straight line. I told her it would be safe. And it wasn’t. I was wrong. I didn’t force her into the car. She got into it because she trusted me. And she believed me,’ he said.
‘We did the shot. And she crashed. At first, no one really knew what happened. After the crash, when Uma went to the hospital, I was feeling in total anguish at what had happened.
‘Watching her fight for the wheel… remembering me hammering about how it was safe and she could do it. Emphasizing that it was a straight road, a straight road… the fact that she believe me, and I literally watched this little S curve pop up. And it spins her like a top,’ Tarantino said in the interview.
‘It was heartbreaking. Beyond one of the biggest regrets of my career, it is one of the biggest regrets of my life.’
The Bride’s ride: Uma Thurman released the video footage of her 2002 crash on the set of Kill Bill, showing the moment of impact and aftermath (still from Kill Bill of the footage of ride)
He added that the crash affected their relationship for the next few years, saying: ‘It wasn’t like we didn’t talk. But a trust was broken.’
In her Instagram post, Thurman said the director did the ‘right thing’ by sharing the footage.
‘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,’ Thurman wrote.
‘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.’
Thurman then went on to accuse Weinstein and her agents at CAA for the ‘cover up’.
‘For this I hold Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh, and the notorious Harvey Weinstein solely responsible,’ says Thurman.
‘They lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress.’
She goes on to note: ‘The cover up did have malicious intent, and shame on these three for all eternity.’
She finishes by laying into her agency at the time.
‘CAA never sent anyone to Mexico,’ writes Thurman.
‘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.’
Thurman claims Weinstein forced himself on her in a hotel room in London between Pulp Fiction (1994) and Kill Bill (2003). They are pictured with Tarantino, who she says knew about it, in 2004 promoting Kill Bill Vol. 2
Thurman shared a photograph from the scene which made it into the movie on Thanksgiving when she alluded to how Weinstein had sexually attacked her
The footage shows the actress struggling to control the car as she careens off a dirt road and into a tree. Her can be seen lying motionless and limp in the driver’s seat until she is pulled out by members of the crew.
Thurman said she thought she was paralyzed by the stunt.
The incident occurred as they finished filming for Kill Bill Vol. 1. It would later be split into two parts by Weinstein who was the producer.
The scene in question is the famous moment Thurman’s character at the end of the first film along a winding road.
Thurman said in the NYT article that she was hesitant about filming it herself and wanted a stunt double to do the difficult driving because, she claimed, the car was unsafe.
It had been reconfigured to from a stick-shift to an automatic and Thurman claimed a crew member expressed concern to her that it was not working properly.
‘Quentin came in my trailer and didn’t like to hear no, like any director.
‘He was furious because I’d cost them a lot of time. But I was scared. He said: ‘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’.
‘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 said.
She said once she returned to set: ‘Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me.’
For years, she said they continued to fight over it and she begged him to show her the footage but he always refused.
Afterwards, Thurman’s lawyer sent a letter to Miramax demanding a copy of the video.
They refused to give it to her unless she agreed that she would not hold the production company accountable for ‘future pain or suffering’.
Thurman refused to agree to those terms and has, for the last 15 years, been trying to get the footage from Tarantino himself.
‘We were in a terrible fight for years. We had to then go through promoting the movies. It was all very thin ice.
‘We had a fateful fight at Soho House in New York in 2004 and we were shouting at each other because he wouldn’t let me see the footage and he told me that was what they had all decided,’ she said.
After the Weinstein scandal broke, Tarantino gave it to her. She equates it with him ‘atoning’ for the danger he put her in and the pair are on good terms.
‘Quentin finally atoned by giving it to me after 15 years, right? Not that it matters now, with my permanently damaged neck and my screwed-up knees.’
She has since handed it along with her correspondence with Miramax to police in the hope that they will be held accountable.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN DENIES ATTACKING UMA THURMAN
In response to Thurman’s claims, a representative for Weinstein sent photographs to DailyMail.com of the pair together in the years after the attack in an attempt to disprove her.
‘In accompanying statement, they said: ‘We have pulled a number of images that demonstrate the strong relationship Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Thurman had had over the years and we wish the New York Times would have published them.
One of the images Weinstein’s reps shared which he says disproves Thurman’s claims is this one from a luncheon taken in January 2016
‘Mr. Weinstein acknowledges making an awkward pass 25 years ago at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals, after a flirtatious exchange in Paris, for which he immediately apologized and deeply regrets. However, her claims about being physically assaulted are untrue. And this is the first time we have heard those details.
‘There was no physical contact during Mr. Weinstein’s awkward pass and Mr. Weinstein is saddened and puzzled as to “why” Ms. Thurman, someone he considers a colleague and a friend, waited 25 years to make these allegations public, noting that he and Ms. Thurman have shared a very close and mutually beneficial working relationship where they have made several very successful film projects together.
‘This is the first time we are hearing that she considered Mr. Weinstein an enemy and the pictures of their history tell a completely different story.
‘There will be more are detailed response later from Mr. Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman.