WATCH: Nate Parker Will Not Apologize to His Accuser in ’60 Minute’ Interview
In a preview clip, interviewer Anderson Cooper asked the Birth of a Nation star and director if he feels guilty for what transpired that night. With a straight face, Parker simply responded, “I don’t feel guilty.”
“I was falsely accused … I went to court … I was vindicated. I feel terrible that this woman isn’t here … her family had to deal with that, but as I sit here, an apology is—no,” he said, noting that, as a Christian, he did feel morally compromised for being in that situation.
Parker and Birth of a Nation co-screenwriter Jean Celestin were accused of rape in 1999 by a Pennsylvania State University student, who claimed she sexually assaulted by the two men when she was intoxicated. After suffering years of psychological problems, the woman dropped out of school and committed suicide in 2012.
“I had no idea. I had absolutely no idea. I found out in the news,” Parker said, revealing that he learned of her death along with the rest of the world through the press. “I was devastated. It was shocking. I couldn’t believe it.”
The same day a clip of Parker’s interview went public, Sharon Loeffler, the accuser’s sister, penned a guest column for Variety condemning the 36-year-old and his new movie for including a fictitious rape scene.
“Given what happened to my sister, and how no one was held accountable for it, I find this invention self-serving and sinister, and I take it as a cruel insult to my sister’s memory,” Loeffler wrote. “I think Nate Parker and Jean Celestin knew this would come up. I think they thought that they could get away with exploiting my sister again, just like they did back at Penn State. They would just say that they were exonerated, and that they could dismiss her allegations.”