Gabriel Byrne says that he once contacted the priest he accused of molesting him as a young boy — and the man had no recollection of who he was.
In his new memoir, “Walking with Ghosts,” The 70-year-old Irish actor writes that during a confrontational phone call in 2002, his alleged abuser couldn’t recall who he was and even thanked him for getting in touch.
“I wanted in those last seconds to call him a c—t and say that even though I don’t believe in Hell, I hope he does because I want him to be terrified and burn forever,” Byrne writes.
He continued, “But I said nothing. Some part of me did not want to hurt an old man with a kindly voice stuck in a retirement home who now had no memory of me or anything he’d done.”
Byrne first opened up to the media about being sexually abused in 2010. He claims that between the ages of eight and 11, he was sexually and physically abused by the Christian Brothers in Ireland and in England.
Describing the night of the abuse, Byrne writes in the book, “Even years later, it feels like the night has been concreted over. I’ve been picking at it with a pin ever since, afraid to use a jackhammer, afraid of what’s buried in there.”
He also writes that for so long he blamed himself for what happened, feeling “ashamed” and “guilty” like he’d done something wrong.
In a new interview with the New York Times, “The Usual Suspects” actor says the priest died many years ago.
“We love to think there’s a resolution to these things, that that’s how to deal with trauma — ‘I confronted him; I dealt with it; I moved on,’” he told the outlet. “But that’s not necessarily true. I realized that there doesn’t have to be a resolution.”
“Walking with Ghosts” was released on Jan. 12.