LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Nate Parker will not apologize for the rape trial he underwent in 1999 which has come up again due to the buzz surrounding his film, The Birth of a Nation.
"I feel terrible that this woman isn't here...her family had to deal with that, but as I sit here, an apology is – no," he continued.
The trial which also involved Birth of a Nation co-writer Jean Celestin, ended with Parker being acquitted by a jury in 2001. A woman had claimed that Parker and Celestin had raped her while the three were students together at Penn State.
Celestin was found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison. The verdict was appealed and a new trial was granted in 2005. It never made it to court as the woman decided not to testify again. Recently, it was revealed that the woman had committed suicide in 2012.
Parker who still maintains his innocence, and says the encounter was consensual, does admit that he was a different person when the incident took place.
"I am 36 years old right now...my faith is very important to me...so looking back through that lens...it's not the lens I had when I was 19 years old," he continued.
Still, Parker hopes audiences will come out to view his historical drama about Nat Turner's slave rebellion from 1831.
"I think that Nat Turner, as a hero, what he did in history, is bigger than me," Parker said. "I think it's bigger than all of us."
Birth of a Nation arrives in theaters Oct. 7.
Recently, star Gabrielle Union spoke out about the rape trial controversy saying, "I cannot take these allegations lightly."