Belfast Telegraph

Whoopi Goldberg defends Liam Neeson over race row controversy

Whoopi Goldberg has come to the defence of Liam Neeson over his controversial rape revenge comments, saying the Northern Irish actor 'isn't a bigot'.

The 63-year-old actress, who has known Neeson for years, spoke about the race row during an appearance on US talkshow The View, saying that people shouldn't be surprised by Liam's admission that he wanted to attack a black person after a loved one had been raped.

"People walk around sometimes with rage, that's what happens," she sad.

"Is he a bigot? No. I've known him a pretty long time, I think I would have recognised, I've been around a lot of real bigots. I can say this man is not one.

"You can't be surprised that somebody whose loved one is attacked is angry and wants to go out and attack."

Liam made the astonishing admission during an interview about his latest film about a father's quest for revenge against a drug baron after his son is killed. 

Neeson appeared on ABC TV's Good Morning America to address his comments, insisting that he was not a racist.

He said he was compelled by a "primal" and "medieval" desire for revenge when he had violent thoughts about killing a black person after a woman close to him was raped.

The star provoked widespread criticism after he told The Independent he had walked the streets armed with a cosh, hoping he would be approached by someone "so that I could kill him" after his friend said she was attacked by a black man.

Discussing his behaviour on Good Morning America, he said: "It really shocked me, this primal urge ... it was shocking.

"It shocked me and it hurt me ... I did seek help - I went to a priest."

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