As excited as we are about Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation, the news of his rape allegations and new information on his accuser is getting equally as disturbing. Everyone has a past, and we all have made some mistakes, but rape–if he did it–is inexcusable, unforgivable, and just evil! Many people believe mainstream media is digging up Nate’s past in hopes of derailing and overshadowing his controversial biopic on Nat Turner, but facts are facts and they are not looking good.
Earlier today, Variety Magazine released excerpts of their interview with Nate as he explained what took place back in 1999 between him, his former roommate and co-writer on Birth of a Nation, Jean McGianni Celestin, and the unconscious woman in their apartment. You can read about that by clicking here. However, in just the last few hours we have learned that his accuser died in 2012, from suicide! Her brother blames her rape as part of her decision to end her life. She was 30.
Her older brother told Variety that she committed suicide and overdosed on sleeping pills. “She became detached from reality,” the woman’s brother Johnny told Variety, asking not to use his last name to honor his sister’s wishes to remain anonymous. “The progression was very quick and she took her life.” [ . . . ]
“He may have litigated out of any kind of situation,” Johnny said. “My position is he got off on a technicality.” Other family members reached by Variety declined to publicly comment.
As Variety is quick to point out, “There’s no evidence that the woman’s death was directly linked to the trial.” Though, the outlet adds, “In court, she testified that she had attempted to kill herself twice after the incident.” Variety also got a hold of the woman’s death certificate, which said she suffered from “major depressive disorder with psychotic features, PTSD due to physical and sexual abuse, polysubstance abuse . . . ”
According to reports, the victim claimed that both Parker and Celestin harassed her after she reported the incident to police. The victim is said to have dropped out of college following the lawsuit, and settled with the university for $17,500.
In an interview with Deadline last week, Turner spoke openly about the accusations, claiming that he never tried to hide them from the public.
In light of these allegations, Fox Searchlight, released this statement last week:
“Fox Searchlight is aware of the incident that occurred while Nate Parker was at Penn State. We also know that he was found innocent and cleared of all charges. We stand behind Nate and are proud to help bring this important and powerful story to the screen.”
We really hope this will not detract from the mission of Birth of a Nation, but our thoughts and prayers are with this young woman’s family. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.