Sean Connery or why we minimize the dark side of film myths | Celebrities, Vips

“I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong with hitting a woman, although I don’t recommend doing it in the same way that you would hit a man. An open hand slap is justified if all other alternatives fail and there have been many caveats. If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or continually bloodthirsty, then she would. I think a man has to be a little ahead of the woman. I really do it by virtue of the way a man is built. But I wouldn’t call myself a sadist.

These apologetic statements about gender violence that he gave in the November 1965 issue of Playboy They would occasionally persecute actor Sean Connery, who died last Saturday at the age of 90 at his home in the Bahamas. More than two decades after speaking to the magazine, in a 1987 televised meeting with Barbara Walters, the popular journalist brought up those claims and offered her an opportunity to redeem herself. At 57, Connery, far from apologizing, put out his chest: “I don’t think it’s bad to hit a woman if she deserves it”. To the astonishment of the driver, the James Bond insisted on the idea that hitting women was okay because “When they are not happy with the last word, and want to have it, they start to provoke and then that is when the slap is correct”.

Half a decade later, in 1993, and with a society less inclined to normalize violence against women, Connery again had the opportunity to rectify with Vanity Fair. It did not: «There are women who take you to the limit. That is what they are looking for, the ultimate showdown. They want a slap ».

Apparently it wasn’t just words. In 2006, whoever was his first wife, Diane Cilento, he assured in his memoirs, My Nine Lives, that Connery had been psychologically and physically violent towards her during their marriage. Shortly after they were married, according to their story, and while they were filming in Almería The hill from Sidney Lumet, Cilento returned to the room after having drinks with the team after being invited to a local wedding. Connery was waiting for her with the lights off. «Once inside our room in the dark, I felt a blow to my face, fell to the ground and passed out for a few seconds. I was screaming, we were both screaming. I stood up and tried to fight but another hit sent me flying. I managed to get through the bathroom door and lock myself in. I spent the rest of the night lying on the bathroom floor, covered with towels, whining, “said Cilento. Connery went to bed without saying a word. The interpreter, who was 31 years old at the time, said when recalling the incident that in the morning she looked in the mirror and was horrified by what she saw. “I was sure that my face would never be the same again. I was in a state of shock, no one had ever treated me like this, I was confused and I felt ashamed in some way, and I was afraid that the press would find out. What could he say, that he had hit me with the door? “. According to his account, he picked up some things while Connery slept, put on a huge pair of sunglasses, and drove as far as he could. The couple would eventually reconcile without “never again” mentioning the incident. They were married from 1962 to 1973.

It did not end there. The same year that the memoirs of his first wife were published, Connery had to cancel an invitation to participate in a festival in the Scottish Parliament after the politician of the Scottish national party, George Reid, assured that the actor, in the encounter, he would be asked “difficult questions” such as “has a slap ever hurt a woman?” After the media controversy that aroused the previous one to his participation, Connery decided not to attend the appointment. The controversy would be settled with statements to friends of the interpreter, assuring the Herald Scotland that Connery had told them – he was never the one who gave them properly to the medium – that he rejected gender violence. “I do not believe that any level of abuse of women is justified under any circumstances”, told them. It had taken 40 years to back down with several controversies in between.

Sean Connery and Diane Cilento on their honeymoon in Marbella. Photo: Getty

When the life story minimizes abuse

In a country where 38 women have been murdered so far this year, the apology for the gender-based violence that haunted Connery throughout his life has been reduced to a few lines in very few obituaries. If they have been typed. While some obituaries highlighted details of color such as that he was a milkman at age 14, or even a bodybuilder, his position in the defense of violence against women was minimized in his life story.

Three years ago, when Federico Luppi died in Buenos Aires due to complications from a bruise after a fall at home a few months ago, something similar happened. In the wide spectrum of obituaries and messages of remembrance by public figures, few were the media or the famous figures who lamented the beatings never denied by the actor towards his partner, Haydée Padilla, in the 70s. «It disgusts me more the conciliatory attitude of the public when bullies, abusers, rapists or pedophiles are artistic figures acclaimed by the masses, from Hitchcock to Polanski to Pablo Neruda and with an eye on Woody Allen. Here culture as a neutralizer of crimes. It changes our gaze. It makes us accomplices “, then wrote Lorena G. Maldonado about the Luppi case and the strange desire to minimize the dark room of gender violence of the stars. Three years later, history seems to be repeating itself.