When the world lost its greatest James Bond on Saturday, it did not take long for Sean Connery’s controversial comments about slapping women to surface.
A clip of Connery doing an interview with Barbara Walters in 1987 was quickly brought back into rotation.
- Related: Sean Connery dies, age 90
“I don’t think it’s good [to slap a woman],” he told Walters.
“I don’t think it’s that bad. I think it depends entirely on the circumstances and if it merits it.”
The comments stem back further, from an interview he gave Playboy in 1965.
“I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman – although I don’t recommend doing it in the same way that you’d hit a man,” Connery said at the time, the year Thunderball was released.
“An open-handed slap is justified if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning.
“If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I’d do it.”
In the 1987 interview, Walters pulled him up on it. Had he changed his mind since that Playboy was released?
Not at all, he said.
He’d go on to say 20 years later the comments were taken out of context, but it wasn’t the only dark side the public saw to Sir Sean.
His first wife Australian Diane Cilento claimed Connery physically and mentally abused her during their 11-year marriage.
Cilento, an actor, wrote in her 2006 autobiography that she believes Connery wasn’t able to cope with the fame that being James Bond brought him.
She said he would fly into rages, and once beat her in a hotel room in Spain until she was forced to lock herself in the bathroom for safety.
“I was a bit drunk,” she said, recalling the incident to The Daily Mail.
“Once inside our room in the darkness, I felt a blow to my face and was knocked to the floor and passed out for a few seconds. Then I was screaming, we were both shouting. I got to my feet and tried to fight back, but another blow sent me flying.
“I managed to get through the bathroom door and locked myself in. I spent the rest of the night sprawled on the bathroom floor, covered with towels, whimpering.”
Her book claims Connery was jealous of her career, which was jetting along with the help of an Oscar nomination, and wanted her to be a housewife.
He forced her to turn down roles, and wouldn’t allow them to hire home help – she was to do all the housework herself.
They separated, citing they were too different to continue their marriage.
They had a son, Jason, during their marriage.
Cilento died in 2011.
Connery went on to marry French artist Micheline Roquebrune, who has never spoken of ill treatment from the actor.
For support and resources about domestic violence, contact 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit the website.