The daughter of Klaus Kinski, the late German actor who starred in epic films including Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, has accused her father of raping her repeatedly as a child.
The accusations levelled against Kinski, an actor renowned for his explosive temperament, were made yesterday by Pola Kinski, his 60-year-old daughter from his first marriage, in an interview published in Germany’s weekly magazine, Stern.
“He ignored everything, including the fact that I often tried to resist and told him ‘I don’t want to’,” Ms Kinski told the magazine “He simply didn’t care. He just took what he wanted.”
Kinski, who died in California in 1991 aged 65, was one of Germany’s most eccentric performers. He appeared in David Lean’s Dr Zhivago in 1965 and with Clint Eastwood in the legendary western, For a Few Dollars More, in 1965. But he was best known for his roles in films by the German director, Werner Herzog. These included Aguirre: the Wrath of God, Nosferatu the Vampyre and Fitzcarraldo, an epic 1982 production about a bizarre attempt to build an opera house in the middle of the Amazon jungle.
Kinski had a history of mental problems and attempted suicide. He was feared by interviewers because of his vitriolic outbursts, and his relationship with Herzog was marred by violent clashes.
Pola Kinski, who describes her experiences in a new autobiography entitled Kindermund (From the Mouths of Children), recalls how her parents divorced when she was three. When her mother, the singer Gislinde Ku(umluat)hlbeck, later found a new partner, Pola Kinski felt unloved.
Ms Kinski claims that her father at once began ruthlessly exploiting her feelings, summoning her to hotel rooms and apartments in Berlin, Rome and Madrid. Once there Kinski shouted at his daughter, threw her against the wall and subjected her to violent rape only to shower her with expensive presents immediately afterwards. “He treated himself to a little sex object, placed on silk cushions,” she said.
Ms Kinski claims she was abused by her father from the age of five to 19. Ms Kinski said she wrote her autobiography both to help others who had suffered similar experiences and to protest against what she described as the omnipresent idolisation of her late father.
Klaus Kinski had two other children with his second and third wives. His daughter, the film star Natasha Kinski, and his son Nikolai did not comment on their half-sister’s version of her childhood today.