Birth of a Nation's Nate Parker Discusses College Rape Trial
Nate Parker – the star, director, writer, and producer of the highly anticipated movie The Birth of a Nation – is opening up about being put on trial for rape while he was in college.
The 36-year-old actor and his Penn State University roommate Jean Celestin, who co-wrote the story for the upcoming movie, were charged with raping a female student in their apartment.
“Seventeen years ago, I experienced a very painful moment in my life,” Nate told Variety. “It resulted in it being litigated. I was cleared of it. That’s that. Seventeen years later, I’m a filmmaker. I have a family. I have five beautiful daughters. I have a lovely wife. I get it. The reality is… I can’t relive 17 years ago. All I can do is be the best man I can be now.”
Nate said that he had consensual sex with the accuser, but she says she was unconscious and did not consent to sex with either man. He was eventually acquitted, but Jean was sentenced to six months in prison. When he appealed the sentence, the accuser did not want to testify again, so the case was thrown out.
“My life will be examined and put under the microscope in ways that it never has,” Nate said about being put in the spotlight. “There are numerous things that are surfacing. But I’ve always been an open book. I’m an advocate of justice. I’m an older man. I’ve matured a lot. I’ve had many obstacles in my life. I grew up very poor. My father passed away. There are so many things that happened. At the same time, I am the man that I am. I am open to the scrutiny. I will never hide anything from my past.”