Liam Neeson is attempting to explain the bizarre story he told about trying to hunt down “some black bastard” after learning about the rape of a close friend.
The “Taken” star was on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday morning, where he tried to clarify his controversial comments from an interview with The Independent.
Neeson told Robin Roberts he was “not a racist” and described his feelings at the time as a “primal urge.” He said he eventually talked to a priest about it and he was “lucky no violence occurred.”
When Roberts asked Neeson if he would have had the same reaction if his friend had said she was raped by a white person, Neeson immediately answered, “Oh, definitely.”
He continued, “If she’d have said an Irish, or a Scot, or a Brit, or a Lithuanian, I know it would have had the same effect. I was trying to show honor, to stand up for my dear friend.”
Neeson has been under fire since the interview was released, where he told a story about reacting to learning the news a friend had been raped.
“There’s something primal, God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions,” he began. “I’ll tell you a story. This is true.”
Neeson explained he returned from overseas several years ago and learned of the rape.
“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.”
He continued, “I went up and down areas with a cosh [a heavy stick], hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [Neeson gestures air quotes with his fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could … kill him.”
Liam Neeson said this went on for about a week.
“It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that,” he said. “And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid.”