BERLIN, (Reuters) – A daughter of the late Klaus Kinski, the German actor with the haunted face who starred in epic films like “Fitzcarraldo”, has accused him of raping her as a child, over a period of 14 years, in her new book.
“I kept quiet for years because he forbade me from talking about it,” Pola Kinski, who is 60, told Stern magazine in an interview published on Thursday.
“The terrible thing is that he once told me that it was completely natural, that fathers all over the world did that with their daughters,” she said.
Klaus Kinski, who died in 1991 in California aged 65, was best known for playing manic, obsessive figures for the German director Werner Herzog in films like “Aguirre: the Wrath of God”, “Nosferatu the Vampyre” and “Fitzcarraldo” in 1982.
He also appeared in David Lean’s “Doctor Zhivago” in 1965 and spaghetti westerns such as “For a Few Dollars More” with Clint Eastwood in 1965.
The actor, who was born in Poland in 1926 and served in the German army in World War Two, had a history of mental problems including attempted suicide. His long working relationship with Herzog was marked by temperamental, sometimes violent clashes.
Pola Kinski’s autobiography “Kindermund” (From the Mouths of Children) speaks of him subjecting her to violent rape and abuse and then showering her with expensive presents.
“He was paying for me to be his little sex object, placed on silk cushions,” she told Stern.
The actor had two other children with his second and third wives – film star Nastassja Kinski and a son, Nikolai. All three children became actors.
Reuters contacted representatives of Nastassja and Nikolai Kinski for comment, in the United States and Germany respectively, but did not get an immediate response.
Pola Kinski said she wrote the book to help “others who have lived through something similar” – but also because she was sick of hearing how people revered her famous father.
“I couldn’t stand hearing it any more: ‘Your father! Cool! Genius! I always loved him!’. I always replied ‘Yeah, yeah’. Since his death this adulation has got even worse,” she said.
Germany’s top-selling daily Bild wrote that Pola Kinski should be considered “a heroine” for having the courage to talk about “what probably thousands of daughters do not dare to say”.