Los Angeles: The makers are moving forward with plans to release Nate Parker's historical drama 'The Birth of a Nation' despite the resurfacing of a rape trail from the actor-director's past.
Fox Searchlight, which bought the project for a record-breaking USD 17.5 million at Sundance, said they are standing behind Parker as he was acquitted of the charges, reported the Entertainment Weekly.
The studio confirmed that the film about Nat Turner's 1831 slave rebellion is still scheduled to release in the US on October 7.
"Searchlight is aware of the incident that occurred while Nate Parker was at Penn State. We also know that he was found innocent and cleared of all charges. We stand behind Nate and are proud to help bring this important and powerful story to the screen," the studio said in a statement.
In 1999, Parker and college roommate Jean Celestin, who also co-wrote the film, were charged with raping a fellow student while she was unconscious after a night of drinking.
Parker was acquitted in court, while Celestin was convicted but appealed the verdict and was granted a new trial.
The case was never retried because the woman decided not to testify again. Variety reported Tuesday that the woman died by suicide in 2012.
The director addressed the incident again by posting a lengthy statement on Facebook, saying he just learnt about the death of the woman.
"I myself just learned that the young woman ended her own life several years ago and I am filled with profound sorrow," he said, adding that even though he was innocent, in retrospect, he wishes he had dealt with the matter with more empathy.