Liam Neeson Wanted to Kill a "Black Bastard" After Friend Was Raped

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For decades, Liam Neeson has enjoyed a place as one of Hollywood's most beloved and bankable stars.

But the Taken star may have just done irreparable damage to his reputation with one appalling comment.

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Neeson has been on a promotional tour for his new film, Cold Pursuit, which -- like most of his recent projects -- finds the Irish actor on a bloody quest for revenge after one of his loved ones is victimized.

The plot of the film prompted Neeson to reflect on a time when he had been driven mad by a thirst for vengeance in his real life.

He recalled an instance that occurred in his youth, in which a close friend of his was raped.

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“God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions,” Neeson told The Independent.

“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” he added.

“But my immediate reaction was … I asked, did she know who it was? No. What color were they? She said it was a black person.”

Liam Neeson

Neeson went on to shock fans by revealing that he fantasized about exacting some sort of race-based violence.

“I went up and down areas with a cosh [bludgeon], hoping I’d be approached by somebody — I’m ashamed to say that … hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could … kill him," Neeson recalled.

Neeson went on to reveal that he behaved in this fashion for “a week, maybe a week and a half … [My friend] would say, ‘Where are you going?’ and I would say, ‘I’m just going out for a walk.’ ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘No, no, nothing’s wrong.’ ”

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“It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that. And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid,” he added.

“It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f—k are you doing?’ “

We think it's safe to say the whole world was happier not knowing about Liam's past tendencies toward violent racism -- and yet at the same time, maybe it's a good thing he foolishly shared this story with the world.

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It's a reminder of the sad fact that even seemingly progressive-minded longtime public figures like Liam Neeson are capable of shocking bigotry.

Starring in Schindler's List is apparently no guarantee that a person never harbored race-based violent fantasies.

The actions that Neeson describes here are unforgivable, but if there's a mitigating circumstance to be found, it's that he may have suffered some sort of trauma as a result of his friend's rape.

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The Independent consulted with an expert in rape and trauma, who revealed that it's not uncommon for loved ones of victims to lash out and project in the fashion Neeson described:

“Often it is less obvious to the loved ones of survivors that they might actually need support in dealing with their emotions themselves, just like the survivors," she told the paper.

"They experience a secondary form of trauma, she explains. Some start thinking about what they could have done differently, and they may contemplate seeking retribution.”

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Obviously, none of that makes it okay that Neeson stalked the streets of Dublin hoping to bludgeon a black man, but at least it's a step toward understanding how such thinking might be possible.

Perhaps anticipating the backlash to his insane remarks, Neeson went on to reveal that he had been desensitized to violence

“I knew a couple of guys that died on hunger strike, and I had acquaintances who were very caught up in the Troubles, and I understand that need for revenge, but it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing, and Northern Ireland’s proof of that,” he said.

“All this stuff that’s happening in the world, the violence, is proof of that. But that primal need, I understand.”

Neeson and his reps have not commented on this story.

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