Actor Liam Neeson has denied he is racist, after admitting he once set out to kill an innocent black man.
Neeson has been facing a major racism storm since he made the comments in an interview, published by The Independent on Monday.
He said he walked the streets with a weapon around 40 years ago, hoping to take out his anger after someone close to him was raped by a black man.
But speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America, Neeson said: “I’m not racist.”
The Hollywood star told ABC’s Robin Roberts on Tuesday that around 40 years ago, one of his close female friends told him she had been raped.
That friend, Neeson added, passed away five years ago.
Neeson said his friend’s alleged rape made him want to take violent action.
He said: “I had never felt this feeling before which was a primal urge to lash out, and I asked her, ‘did you know the person, was it a man?’ No. ‘Race?’ She said it was a black man.”
The actor said he “went out deliberately into black areas in the city looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence”.
He added: “I did it maybe four or five times.”
The Taken star claimed he would have acted in the same way if his friend’s assailant had been white.
He told ABC: “If she had said an Irish or a Scot or a Brit or a Lithuanian I would – I know I would – have had the same effect. I was trying to show honour, to stand up for my dear friend in this terribly medieval fashion.”
Neeson said of his actions: “It shocked me and it hurt me. I did seek help.”
The actor said he went to confession, and went power walking for two hours every day, to try to work through his anger.