Uma Thurman had to stop being angry before she told this story. In her own words, “I used the word ‘anger’ but I was more worried about crying, to tell you the truth. I was not a groundbreaker on a story I knew to be true. So what you really saw was a person buying time.”
When Thurman was a younger actress, she worked on a film series called, “Kill Bill”. The series helped bring notoriety and respect to the star, Thurman, as well as the director and producer; Quentin Tarantino and Harvey Weinstein, respectively.
Weinstein had already “made a pass” at Thurman was rejected, at the time this story begins. Her relationship with the producer would deteriorate, but the powder keg wouldn’t explode until Tarantino demanded that Thurman perform a driving stunt.
“Quentin came in my trailer and didn’t like to hear no, like any director,” she said. “He was furious because I’d cost them a lot of time. But I was scared. He said: ‘I promise you the car is fine. It’s a straight piece of road.’”
The road was “S-curved”, as Thurman remembers, and paved only with sand. Her car would crash and Thurman would be severely injured.
“The steering wheel was at my belly and my legs were jammed under me. I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again.’”
Despite their working relationship, neither man would allow Thurman to see tape of her crash, unless she signed a contract agreeing not to press charges. The video, found easily online, is shocking. Thurman would have to take her own evidence to court to force the mens’ hands.
“Quentin finally atoned by giving it to me after 15 years, right?” she said. “Not that it matters now, with my permanently damaged neck and my screwed-up knees.”
Tarantino, for his part, calls the event, “one of the biggest regrets of my [his] life.”
“She blamed me for the crash and she had a right to blame me for the crash,” he said. “I didn’t mean to do it. I talked her into getting in the car, I assured her the road was safe. And it wasn’t.”
“They lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress,” she said. “The cover-up did have malicious intent, and shame on these three for all eternity.”
It took a long time for Thurman to speak out about this event, which is intimately tied to the #MeToo movement. Her position in the movement is unique and she recognizes the contradiction:
“I stand as both a person who was subjected to it and a person who was then also part of the cloud cover, so that’s a super weird split to have.”