Liam Neeson Appears On Good Morning America To Explain Race-Related Comments

Liam Neeson has appeared on Good Morning America in an attempt to explain a recent interview admission that he once walked the streets 'with a cosh', hoping to find a 'black bastard' to kill, following the rape of someone close to him.

The 66-year-old actor was live on the programme and explained: "The topic of our film is revenge. 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.

"I was out of the country and when I came back she told me about this and she handled the situation herself and her rapist incredibly bravely I have to say that but I had never felt this feeling before which was a primal urge to lash out.

"I asked her 'did you know the person'. It was a man. 'His race', she said 'it was a black man'. I thought ok and after that there were some nights I went out deliberately into black areas looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence. And I did it maybe four or five times until it caught myself on and it really shocked me.

"It shocked me and it hurt me. I did seek help, I went to a priest, I was reared Catholic. Believe it or not, power-walking, two hours every day to get rid of this.

Liam Neeson appearing on Good Morning America. Credit: ABC/Good Morning America
Liam Neeson appearing on Good Morning America. Credit: ABC/Good Morning America

"I'm not racist. This was nearly 40 years ago. I was brought up in the north of Ireland and brought up in the troubles, the 60s, 70s and early 80s. There was a war going on in the north of Ireland and I had acquaintances that were involved in the troubles.

"A catholic would be killed and the next day a protestant would be killed. I grew up surrounded by that but I was never part of it."

He explained that he asked his friend - who passed away five years ago - many more questions as well as the race of the attacker.

Then he was quizzed about whether he would have the same reaction if the attacker had been a white man to which Neeson responded: "If she'd have said an Irish, a Scot, A Brit, a Lithuanian, I know it would have had the same effect.

"I was trying to show honour, stand up for my dear friend in this terrible medieval fashion and I'm a fairly intelligent guy and that's why it shocked me when I came down to Earth after having these horrible feelings. Luckily no violence occurred, ever.

"It's a learning curve. We all pretend we're all politically correct, I mean in this country and my own country too, sometimes you just scratch the surface. You discover this racism and bigotry and it's there."

Liam Neeson holds his OBE in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Credit: PA
Liam Neeson holds his OBE in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Credit: PA

This comes after Neeson was interviewed by the Independent, and explained that one of his close friends was once raped.

He said: "My immediate reaction was... I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person.

"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 [uses air quotes with fingers] 'black bastard' would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could... kill him."

He then added: "It was horrible, horrible when I think back, that I did that ... It's awful, but I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, 'What the fuck are you doing?' You know?"

Clemence Michallon, who conducted the interview, appeared on this morning's Good Morning Britain and told the show's hosts: "You do not go into a movie press junket expecting to hear that story. What I felt immediately was a strong sense of responsibility and duty to tell the story sensitively."

Neeson had volunteered the story, according to Michallon, who explained: "He decided to tell this story that had been apparently weighing on him for a very long time."

The actor was being interviewed to promote his upcoming film Cold Pursuit which follows Nels Coxman's quest for revenge following his son's murder.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd is a Journalist at LADbible. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class BA in Journalism. Becky previously worked as Chief Reporter at Cavendish Press, supplying news and feature stories to national newspapers and women's magazines.

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