Film producer Lawrence Bender has expressed deep regret over the car crash that Uma Thurman experienced on the set of Kill Bill, while also denying the actress’ allegation that he participated in a cover-up of the incident.
“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,” Bender said Wednesday in a statement provided to EW. “The safety of the professionals who work on the movies I produce is vital to me and I never want to let anyone down.”
The statement continued, “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 [Tarantino]. I wanted to make sure she had all of the answers she had been seeking.”
News of the crash was first made public Saturday, in a New York Times story detailing Thurman’s allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein, an executive producer on Kill Bill and longtime collaborator of Tarantino, the film’s director. (Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women, has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex, as well as claims that he retaliated against women who rebuffed him.)
Thurman told the Times she had not been comfortable performing the driving shot that led to the crash, and that she got into a years-long fight with Tarantino afterward because she was not permitted to view the footage. Tarantino recently provided her with the footage, and Thurman said in an Instagram post Monday that she does not hold him responsible for the handling of the accident. (Tarantino shared his side of the story with Deadline Hollywood on Monday evening.)
In her Instagram post, Thurman accused Weinstein, Bender, and fellow Kill Bill producer E. Bennett Walsh of covering up the crash. Weinstein denied the allegations; Walsh has not publicly addressed them. (EW has reached out to representatives for Walsh for comment.)
Bender’s statement Wednesday concluded, “I have great respect for Uma Thurman, both as an artist and a person, and only wish her well.”