LIAM NEESON has revealed he once walked the streets looking for a random ‘black b******’ to kill after someone close to him was raped.
The Hollywood star, 66, made the admission in an interview to promote his new revenge film Cold Pursuit and said he was ‘ashamed’ of his actions, which happened ‘many years ago’.
Sitting by his stunned co-star Tom Bateman, Neeson told The Independent he had returned from overseas to discover ‘someone close’ to him had been raped.
He said his ‘immediate reaction was… I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person’.
Neeson continued: ‘I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody — I’m ashamed to say that — and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some “black b******” would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.’
He added: ‘It’s awful. But I did learn from it.’
At the end of the interview, Neeson asked journalist Clemence Michallon if she would handle his story ‘carefully’ and then joked ‘I will find you’ — a reference to his hit film Taken — if she didn’t.
The comments were criticised online. Political campaigner Femi Oluwole tweeted: ‘At no point does Neeson address the fact one black person committing a crime does not justify treating ANY black person as if they’d committed that crime.’
Journalist David Opie said he understood the desire for revenge ‘but the racial dimension of this confession is abhorrent’.
Others stood by the actor. One wrote: ‘Takes real courage to admit past mistakes. Neeson is a good guy.’