Hollywood icon Liam Neeson is facing a ton of heat while promoting his new film "Cold Pursuit" for admitting in an interview that he once sought revenge on someone he described as a "black bastard."
During an interview with The Independent, the 66-year-old actor recalled a family member being raped many years ago and how "primal" he felt following the assault.
"She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way," Neeson said. "But my immediate reaction was — I asked, did she know who it was? No. What color were they? She said it was a black person."
Neeson then described waiting outside of pubs with a "cosh" hoping a "black bastard" would spark an altercation.
"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 [in air quotes] 'black bastard' would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could… kill him,” he continued. “It took me a week, maybe a week and a half, to go through that. She would say, ‘Where are you going?’ and I would say, ‘I’m just going out for a walk.’ You know? ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘No no, nothing’s wrong.’”
The “Taken” star expressed remorse for his thoughts and actions.
“It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that. And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid,” Neeson said. “It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f--k are you doing,’ you know?”
His admission sent shockwaves across Hollywood and social media.
It is unclear if Neeson’s remarks will impact the release of “Cold Pursuit,” which hits theaters February 8.
Neeson is best known as the vengeful father in the “Taken” franchise and appearing as the comic book villain Ra’s Al Ghul in the “Dark Knight” trilogy. He has also starred in “Schindler’s List,” “Love Actually,” and “The LEGO Movie.” He has two other films scheduled to be released this year, including “Men in Black: International.”