Nate Parker Posts Statement About Resurfaced Sexual Assault Case & The Devastating News About His Accuser

Back in 1999, a Penn State student and his roommate were accused of raping an 18-year-old woman. Those two students grew up to be The Birth of a Nation actor, writer, and director, Nate Parker, and Jean Celestin, who co-wrote the movie. While Parker was acquitted of the charges, according to Variety, Celestin was found guilty of sexual assault and sentenced to six months in prison. (He appealed and was given a new trial in 2005, but the woman no longer wished to testify.) This part of Parker and Celestin's past resurfaced this week, along with news that the victim committed suicide in 2012, as her brother shared with Variety. Late Tuesday night, Parker shared his response to the situation on Facebook in a post "written from my heart."

At the beginning of his statement, the 36-year-old said he wants people to view him as a fellow human being, one who is "devastated." He wrote,

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He goes on to maintain his innocence in the situation:

The actor said he is devastated to hear that the woman is no longer alive and he's filled with "profound sorrow." He also noted his "indignant attitude and my heartfelt mission to prove my innocence" at the time of the trial and said, "I see now that I may not have shown enough empathy even as I fought to clear my name." He concluded the statement by saying he does not wish to run from this point in his life. Parker said, "Please don’t take this as an attempt to solve this with a statement. I urge you only to take accept this letter as my response to the moment."

You can read the post in full below.

Meanwhile, in response to the assault allegations resurfacing, the woman's family released the following statement to the New York Times:

Following the release of that statement, the victim's sister, Sharon Loeffler, told the New York Times that it did not represent the feelings of all of the family members, and that believed her sister "had been broken" by the 1999 case and its aftermath. Loeffler said,