"I incorrectly played devil's advocate in the debate for the sake of being provocative," Tarantino says.
On Tuesday morning, the director was on the receiving end of some pretty intense backlash for an interview he did in 2003, in which he told Howard Stern that Polanski's 13-year-old statutory rape victim -- Samantha Geimer -- "wanted to have it."
"I want to publicly apologize to Samantha Geimer for my cavalier remarks on 'The Howard Stern Show' speculating about her and the crime that was committed against her," Tarantino said Thursday in a statement. "Fifteen years later, I realize how wrong I was. Ms. Geimer WAS raped by Roman Polanski."
"When Howard brought up Polanski, I incorrectly played devil's advocate in the debate for the sake of being provocative," he added. "I didn't take Ms. Geimer's feelings into consideration and for that I am truly sorry."
He concluded his brief statement by saying he was "ignorant, and insensitive, and above all, incorrect. I am sorry Samantha."
In the 2003 recording, Tarantino vehemently defended Polanski. "It was statutory rape. That’s not quite the same thing," he tried to explain to a baffled Stern. "He had sex with a minor, all right. That’s not rape. To me, when you use the word rape, you’re talking about violent, throwing them down -- It's one of the most violent crimes in the world."
When Stern suggested that you should know it's wrong to have sex with a 13-year-old girl, Tarantino retorted, "Look, she was down with it."
The tape was the second high-profile smudge against the "Hateful Eight" director in less than a week, with two quick statements of remorse. He'd just expressed his regrets over the serious injuries Uma Thurman sustained during a driving sequence for "Kill Bill" that he had insisted she perform.