LIAM NEESON has revealed how he once sought revenge for the rape of a close friend by walking the streets armed with a weapon searching for a “black b*****d” to kill.
The Irish actor made the shocking claims in an interview with The Independent.
Speaking in an interview originally intended to support the release of his new film Cold Pursuit, Neeson recalled how he once returned from a trip abroad to discover a loved one had been raped.
The Taken star told the newspaper the never-before-heard story of how he reacted to the news – and went looking for revenge.
“There’s something primal – God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions," he said.
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson continued.
“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.
“I went up and down areas with a cosh (a crowbar), hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [he gestured air quotes] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could -- kill him.”
The 66-year-old went on to express regret and shame over the incident.
“It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that,” he said. “And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid.”
"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," Neeson added.
According to Neeson, the experience taught him a valuable lesson about the need to overcome these kinds of emotions and ask "what the f*** are you doing?"
“I grew up in Northern Ireland in the Troubles” he added.
"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. All this stuff that’s happening in the world, the violence, is proof of that, you know. That primal need, I understand.”
Clémence Michallon, the journalist conducting the interview on behalf of The Independent, requested a follow-up interview to discuss the matter further.
This request was declined.
The Independent's interview with Liam Neeson can be read in full here.