“Cold Pursuit” star speaks to “Good Morning America” for the first time since interview about his reaction to a close friend’s rape went viral.
Liam Neeson spoke to ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday morning, the day after his Independent interview, on his reaction to a close friend’s rape went viral after he spoke about getting his revenge on the culprit.
Since the interview was released Neeson has been both berated and praised online by the public, with many on Twitter claiming that the Northern Ireland star is racist.
Neeson, who stars in the upcoming movie “Cold Pursuit”, which has the theme of revenge at its core, appeared on “GMA” for the first time since the interview was publishing insisting that he is not racist.
Speaking to Co-host of "GMA" Robin Roberts, Neeson tried to explain his comments earlier this week and said in doing so he hoped he honored his friend, who had been raped and passed away five years ago.
He said, “The lady journalist was asking me how do you tap into that and I remembered an incident nearly 40 years ago where a very dear friend of mine was brutally raped and I was out of the country and when I came back, she told me about this situation.”
He went on to say “I had never felt this feeling before, which was a primal urge to lash out. I asked her did she know the person and his race. She said he was a black man.
“I went out into 'black areas' in the city looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence and I did it four or five times.”
Neeson insisted that his reaction would have been the said had the attacker been White.
He said "If she had said an Irish or a Scot or a Brit or a Lithuanian I would - I know I would - have had the same effect. I was trying to show honor, to stand up for my dear friend in this terribly medieval fashion."
He went on say his actions had "shocked" him and he admitted he "did seek help".
Neeson said he went to confession and went power-walking for two hours every day, to try to work through his anger.
In the initial interview, with the Independent, the County Antrim Hollywood star said:
“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 bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could … kill him.
“It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did.”
Watch Liam Neeson speaking with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America here:
What do you make of Neeson's explanation and his initial comments? Let us know in the comments section below.