Hollywood News

Nate Parker Refuses to Apologise For Rape Accusation; Says He Is Not Guilty

The Birth of a Nation director Nate Parker has said that he does not feel guilty about a rape allegation made against him in 1999, in an interview with 60 Minutes (set to air on Sunday). Parker and his college roommate Jean Celestin have been accused of raping an unconscious woman, and Celestin’s conviction was later overturned. Parker and the woman had an earlier, consensual sexual encounter.


News of the trialresurfaced as Parker’s directorial debut, The Birth of a Nation based on the 1831 slave revolt led by Nat Turner, began to gain acclaim. Parker directed, co-wrote, and also acted in the film.

In a clip from the 60 Minutes episode released by CBS on Thursday, interviewer Anderson Cooper asks Parker if he feels guilty about anything that happened that night, to which Parker responds, “I don’t feel guilty”. When asked if he thinks he has done something morally wrong, he says, “As a Christian man, just being in that situation, yeah, sure. I’m 36 years old right now and my faith is very important to me. So looking back through that lens, it’s not the lens that I had when I was 19 years old.”

When asked if he had anything to apologize for, Parker replied ““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.”

The woman who accused Parker and Celestin dropped out of college and subsequently committed suicide in 2012. Court documents also show that the woman accused Parker and Celestin of  harassing her after she reported the incident to the police. Parker told Cooper that the news of the woman’s death was “devastating” and “shocking” and that he had no idea about her death until he saw the news.


In late August, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, stated that people should watch Nate Parker’s film irrespective of his past. The recent backlash has already had an impact, with the American Film Institute canceling a screening of the film. In light of the situation, Isaacs said that the film needs to be seen because of the subject he delves into.