"She has been raped. She has been sexually assaulted. She has been mangled in hot steel. She has been betrayed and gaslighted by those she trusted."
Such reads an excerpt from a recent feature by The New York Times on Uma Thurman's shocking revelations about the alleged abuse she experienced from Harvey Weinstein and Quentin Tarantino. After years of silence, the Golden Globe winning actress finally felt ready to reveal her story, and it entails a disturbing history of sexual assault and manipulation.
She first spoke of the initial incident with Weinstein, claiming that he had randomly attacked her in his suite:
"It was such a bat to the head. He pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me. You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard. I was doing anything I could to get the train back on the track. My track. Not his track."
When she confronted him after the incident, Weinstein threatened to "derail her career." The two had several projects together at the time, which made the threat all the more serious to Thurman.
Which brings us to Tarantino, the key player who pushed Thurman to her breaking point. When Thurman told him about the Weinstein incident, Tarantino initially dismissed it as a "boys will be boys" situation. That was strike one.
Strike two came after, during the filming of a famous scene in "Kill Bill" where Thurman's character Beatrix Kiddo drives a blue convertible. Thurman was asked by Tarantino to perform the dangerous stunt herself, but after being told by a set member that the car had been rejigged and that it might not be safe to drive, Thurman insisted that a stunt double do it instead. Tarantino wouldn't take no for an answer.
"Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again," he told her. But it was way too dangerous to be going that fast on that particular road and in that particular car.
"The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road," explained Thurman.
The stunt resulted in Thurman's legs being jammed under the car, and her neck being violently whipped backwards from the force of the crash.
"I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again,’” she says. “When I came back from the hospital in a neck brace with my knees damaged and a large massive egg on my head and a concussion, I wanted to see the car and I was very upset. Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me."
Two weeks later, Thurman tried to get the footage of the crash from Tarantino, but Miramax, the company that oversaw the "Kill Bill" production, said they would only hand it over to her if she signed a document "releasing them of any consequences of [her] future pain and suffering." Of course she didn't do it, and Tarantino left it at that. Strike three.
The incident created a huge rift between the two, which was a true shame because their creative partnership was really something special. They were engaged in fight after fight over the footage, and this went on for many years.
Now that Thurman has come out with the story, Tarantino finally gave her the footage. Thurman forgave him, but is still disappointed that he still acted 15 years to late.
“Not that it matters now, with my permanently damaged neck and my screwed-up knees,” she said.
Thurman and Tarantino never worked together again since the release of "Kill Bill." Since the story came out, people have been highly critical of Tarantino, with some even going as far as to call him a “near murderer.” While she never said out-right that she won't be participating in a potential "Kill Bill 3" movie, which Tarantino had teased at back in 2015, Thurman is probably set on never jumping back into the series again.
Even though Kill Bill 3 will probably never happen, one thing is for certain — Uma Thurman is a badass. Not just because she portrays one in "Pulp Fiction" or in the "Kill Bill" series, but because she, like many women before her, stood up to the tyrants of her industry and further exposed the abusive culture they propagated.