Liam Neeson admits he wanted to kill a black man after his friend was raped

Hollywood actor Liam Neeson has made a shocking admission about his one-time desire to kill a "black bastard" after discovering a friend of his was raped by a person of colour.

In an interview with The Independent, Neeson said he reacted badly to news of a close female friend's assault, prompting actions that he now dubs "awful".

"I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person," he told journalist Clémence Michallon.

"I went up and down areas with a cosh [a heavy stick or bar used as a weapon], hoping I'd be approached by somebody.

"I'm ashamed to say that, and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some 'black bastard' would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know?

"So that I could kill him."

Michallon wrote that she found the admission "appalling," and could tell that Neeson and his Cold Pursuit co-star did, too.

"'Holy shit,' says Tom Bateman, his co-star, who is sitting beside him," she said in the article. 

The 66-year-old actor expressed remorse for his mindset at the time, adding that he felt a lesson had been learned from his week-and-a-half-long experience.

"It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that," he said.

"And I've never admitted that, and I'm saying it to a journalist. God forbid.

"I eventually thought, 'What the f**k are you doing,' you know?"

Unsurprisingly, Neeson's confession has sparked a raft of furious backlash online.

"I am mortified by Liam Neeson," Irish author Marian Keyes wrote on Twitter. 

Black comedian Phillip Henry echoed those sentiments, writing:

"What's most disturbing about what Liam Neeson said is everything.

"But what's particularly terrifying is the idea that the death of any other Black guy would satisfy the revenge quota..."

The 'Taken' star has yet to publicly address his comments.