Actor/Filmmaker Nate Parker is under fire for an old college rape case that has worked to resurface itself in the wake of the release of his upcoming film, “Birth of A Nation”.
While many are questioning their support for the beloved filmmaker, others are claiming conspiracy behind the fact that the 17 year old rape case has resurfaced right before the release of his critically-acclaimed film on slavery.
The brother of a woman who once accused actor and director Nate Parker of rape is speaking out, saying the incident at Penn State University led her into a downward spiral and eventually, suicide.
The woman, who is now deceased, claimed the star assaulted her while they were both Penn State students. According to family members and public records, she died in 2012 at the age of 30.
The older brother of the unnamed woman told Variety in an interview that ran Tuesday that she committed suicide in 2012 by overdosing on sleeping pills.
“She became detached from reality,” the woman’s brother, who was identified only as “Johnny” told Variety. “The progression was very quick and she took her life.”
In 1999, Parker and another student were charged with raping the woman while they were students at Penn State. At the time of the allegation, he said that he had consensual sex with her. But prosecutors claimed in court documents connected with the case that she was raped while unconscious.
Parker was acquitted after a trial in 2001, although questions about the case have begun to persist as the October release of his upcoming film Birth of a Nation draws closer.
He was not disciplined beyond being suspended from the school’s wrestling team and wound up transferring to a college in Oklahoma. Despite Parker’s acquittal, the other student, who was Parker’s roommate, was convicted and served six months in prison, but his sentence was vacated upon appeal.
However the alleged victim’s brother maintains that the incident drove his sister into a downward spiral.
“If I were to look back at her very short life and point to one moment where I think she changed as a person, it was obviously that point,” he said. “The trial was pretty tough for her.”
Parker, 36, spoke with Variety last week about the accusation:
“Seventeen years ago, I experienced a very painful moment in my life,” Parker said. “It resulted in it being litigated. I was cleared of it. That’s that. Seventeen years later, I’m a filmmaker. I have a family. I have five beautiful daughters. I have a lovely wife. I get it. The reality is…I can’t relive 17 years ago. All I can do is be the best man I can be now.”