Nate Parker, the creator of Birth of a Nation, is speaking out about the rape charge that was filed against him 17 years ago while he was in college.
Parker and Jean McGianni Celestin were roommates together in 1999 when they were accused of raping a girl who had passed out in their room. However, they claimed that the sex was consensual.
Parker had previously had a consensual encounter with the girl and was acquitted in 2001. Although Celestin was initially found guilty of sexual assault, the conviction was overturned after an appeal.
Parker is now speaking out about the case, saying that it does not reflect his views on women.
“I stand here, a 36-year-old man, 17 years removed from one of the most painful moments in the life,” Parker said in an interview with Deadline. “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 said.
Although Parker said that sexual assault on school campuses is a “very serious” issue, he also said that he would not relive his past over and over.
“I will not relive that period of my life every time I go under the microscope.”