Things aren’t looking good for Nate Parker, and his much buzzed-about film The Birth of a Nation. Since opening up about being charged, and later found not guilty, of raping a woman 17 years ago, more details about the case, including news that the accuser committed suicide, have come out.
Tuesday evening, Variety released a story that the accuser had overdosed on sleeping pills in 2012 while undergoing treatment at a rehabilitation center. According to the magazine, who spoke with the accuser’s older brother, the trial took a major toll on her, and she had attempted suicide on two other occasions.
“She became detached from reality,” the woman’s brother, Johnny, told Variety, asking not to use his last name to honor his sister’s wishes to remain anonymous. “The progression was very quick and she took her life.”
Following the tragic news, Parker took to his Facebook page to express his shock and sadness. According to the 36-year-old actor, he did not know she had taken her life.
Parker sat down with Variety and Deadline last week in an effort to get in front of what is seemingly turning into a damning blow to his film The Birth of a Nation. According to Deadline, Fox Searchlight, which picked up the film for $17.5 million, stands behind Parker, and has been working closely with him on a media strategy.
Back in 1999, Parker and his roommate Jean McGianni Celestin (who co-wrote The Birth of a Nation with him) were charged with raping an 18-year-old female in their apartment after a night of drinking while attending Penn State University. Parker maintained that the sex was consensual, and in 2001, he was eventually acquitted. Meanwhile, Celestin was initially found guilty of sexual assault, but then the conviction was overturned after an appeal.