Lawrence Bender, the producer of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1, has denied that there was a ‘cover up’ over Uma Thurman’s on-set car crash.
Thurman singled out Bender, as well as executive producers E. Bennett Walsh and Harvey Weinstein, as who she blamed for the accident, after it was made public in an interview with the actress for the New York Times.
She claimed to have been coerced into performing the stunt on the movie’s set in Mexico, despite her concerns over its safety.
Bender told The Hollywood Reporter: “I deeply regret that Uma suffered the pain she has, both physically and emotionally, for all of these years from the accident that occurred on the set of Kill Bill.
“The safety of the professionals who work on the movies I produce is vital to me and I never want to let anyone down.”
He added: “I never hid anything from Uma or anyone else nor did I participate in any cover up of any kind — and I never would.
“I was informed of Uma’s feelings in regard to this incident a few months ago and have done my best over this time to get as much verifiable information from all of the relevant sources that I could and shared it with Quentin.
“I wanted to make sure she had all of the answers she had been seeking. I have great respect for Uma Thurman, both as an artist and a person, and only wish her well.”
Thurman said in the interview with the Times that Tarantino promised her that the stunt would take place on a straight piece of road, and said to ‘Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again’.
“But that was a deathbox that I was in. The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road,” she added.
She then posted the footage of the crash – which Tarantino provided to her – on her Instagram account, at which point she called out Bender and others who worked on the movie.
“Quentin Tarantino, was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry event, and gave me the footage years later so I could expose it and let it see the light of day, regardless of it most likely being an event for which justice will never be possible,” she wrote in the text accompanying the video.
“He also did so with full knowledge it could cause him personal harm, and i am proud of him for doing the right thing and for his courage.
“THE COVER UP after the fact is UNFORGIVABLE. For this I hold Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh, and the notorious Harvey Weinstein solely responsible.
“They lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress. The cover up did have malicious intent, and shame on these three for all eternity.”
Tarantino has spoken of his regret over the incident, telling Deadline: “I am guilty, for putting her in that car, but not the way that people are saying I am guilty of it. It’s the biggest regret of my life, getting her to do that stunt.”