Magazine article Screen International

Nate Parker Addresses Former Rape Charge

Magazine article Screen International

Nate Parker Addresses Former Rape Charge

Article excerpt

Nate Parker was acquitted by a court in 2001, two years after a woman alleged that he and Jean McGianni Celestin, his then Penn State roommate who earned a story credit on The Birth Of A Nation, raped her while she was unconscious.

The issue has been a matter of public record for years and appears in a citation on Parker's Wikipedia page following a 2007 interview he gave to The Virginian-Pilot.

However when it resurfaced Searchlight and Parker decided to face the matter head-on in an interview with Deadline Hollywood that ran on Friday.

"Searchlight is aware of the incident that occurred while Nate Parker was at Penn State," the studio said in a statement. "We also know that he was found innocent and cleared of all charges. We stand behind Nate and are proud to help bring this important and powerful story to the screen."

"I was sure it would come up," Parker told the outlet. "It is there, on my Wikipedia page, the Virginia Pilot ... I stand here, a 36-year-old man, 17 years removed from one of the most painful moments in my life.

"And I can imagine it was painful, for everyone. I was cleared of everything, of all charges. I've done a lot of living, and raised a lot of children. I've got five daughters and a lovely wife. My mom lives here with me; I brought her here. I've got four younger sisters."

He continued: "Women have been such an important part of my life. I try, every day, to be a better father to my daughters, and a better husband.

"The reality is, this is a serious issue, a very serious issue, and the fact that there is a dialogue going on right now around the country is paramount. …

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