Neeson: I was look­ing for some­one to kill

Ac­tor dis­closes shame at his own ‘aw­ful’ thirst for vengeance as he pro­motes new film about re­venge

The Daily Telegraph - - Front Page - By He­lena Hor­ton

Liam Neeson, the Ir­ish ac­tor, has ad­mit­ted to an in­ci­dent in his past when he went out car­ry­ing a cosh and hoped to use it to kill a “black b------” af­ter a fe­male friend told him she was raped by a black man.

LIAM NEESON has ad­mit­ted to car­ry­ing around a cosh and hop­ing to come across a “black b------” to kill with it af­ter a friend was raped.

The 66-year-old ac­tor said he felt strong urges to carry out a racially ag­gra­vated at­tack af­ter learn­ing that the man who at­tacked his friend was black.

The Taken star said he felt a thirst for re­venge af­ter he came back home from over­seas to find a close fe­male friend had been sex­u­ally as­saulted.

He has de­clined to dis­close the name of his friend, or to give fur­ther de­tails about the at­tack, so as to pro­tect her iden­tity.

Neeson has said he feels “ashamed” of his past “aw­ful” urges af­ter dis­clos­ing that for a week he walked around hop­ing some­one would pro­voke him so that he could at­tack them.

“She han­dled the sit­u­a­tion of the rape in the most ex­tra­or­di­nary way,” he told The In­de­pen­dent. He ex­plained his mind­set at the time, ad­ding: “But my im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion was… did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black per­son.

“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 black b------d would come out of a pub and have a go at me about some­thing, you know? So that I could kill him.”

The ac­tor shared the star­tling story af­ter be­ing asked about his in­sight into his char­ac­ter in his new film, Cold Pur­suit, who has a thirst for re­venge af­ter his son is killed by a drug gang.

Neeson said he feels re­morse for his ac­tions, ex­plain­ing: “It’s aw­ful. But I did learn a les­son from it, when I even­tu­ally thought, ‘What the f--- are you do­ing’, you know?”

He added that he un­der­stands the need for re­venge be­cause of his child­hood: “I come from a so­ci­ety – I grew up in North­ern Ire­land in the Trou­bles – and, you know, I knew a cou­ple of guys that died on hunger strike, and 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… All this stuff that’s hap­pen­ing in the world, the vi­o­lence, is proof of that, you know. But that pri­mal need, I un­der­stand.”

The ac­tor has be­come more can­did in in­ter­views of late, last year telling Ire­land’s Late Late Show that the #Metoo move­ment had turned into a “witch hunt”.

He said: “There’s some peo­ple, fa­mous peo­ple, be­ing sud­denly ac­cused of touch­ing some girl’s knee, or some­thing, and sud­denly they’re be­ing dropped from their pro­gramme, or some­thing... it’s a witch hunt.”

The Tele­graph has con­tacted Liam Neeson’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives for com­ment.

‘I went up and down ar­eas with a cosh, hop­ing some black b------d would come out and have a go at me’

Liam Neeson in new film Cold Pur­suit, in which his char­ac­ter seeks re­venge af­ter his son is killed by a drug gang

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