In a new interview with Liam Neeson, the “Taken” star says he once sought the revenge for a loved one’s rap by searching for a black person to kill.
In an interview with Britain’s “The Independent,” the Oscar-nominated actor revealed when he returned from a trip and learned a loved one had been raped, he went searching for revenge.
“There’s something primal – God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions,” he said in a shocking new interview.
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson told the outlet. “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.
“I went up and down areas with a (nightstick), hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could – kill him.”
Neeson looks back at the incident with regret.
“It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that,” he says. “And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid.”
He says the experience taught him a lesson: when overcome with such emotion, he needed to stop and ask himself, “what the (expletive) are you doing?”
He continues, “I grew up in Northern Ireland in the Troubles,” referring to the decades-long strife between Catholics, who wanted to split from the U.K. and form a united Ireland, and Protestant loyalists who wished to remain. “I had acquaintances who were very caught up in the Troubles, and I understand that need for revenge, but it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing, and Northern Ireland’s proof of that. All this stuff that’s happening in the world, the violence, is proof of that, you know. That primal need, I understand.”
Fans took to Twitter to share their disappointment with the actor. “This is what white, toxic masculinity looks like,” wrote @Gaohmee. “I am extremely wary of men who are more outraged about the pain of a rape survivor than the victim themselves, especially when reverting to violence. I’m glad Neeson sees his mistake at least.”