Raiders of the Lost Ark star Karen Allen has defended the film from accusations that Indiana Jones engaged in pedophilia when he had an affair with an underage Marion Ravenwood.
Karen Allen addressed the accusations in a recent interview with Uproxx to mark the 40th anniversary of Raiders, which Paramount released in 1981. In their first scene together, set in Marion’s bar in Mongolia, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) alludes to their past romance, which ended badly.
“I never meant to hurt you,” he said.
“I was a child. I was in love. It was wrong and you knew it!” she replied.
In the interview, Allen dismissed accusations that the relationship was inappropriate. “I don’t think of him as a pedophile. That’s the direction some of these people are going,” she said.
The actress elaborated: “I think I say I was 16. I don’t know. That’s always what I imagined is she was 16, he was 26. And he was her father’s student. And it’s left very mysterious.”
Movie fans have speculated for years if Indiana Jones engaged in pedophilia by having an affair with Marion when she was a minor. Some have pointed to the novelization of the movie, which says Marion is 15 when she falls in love with Indiana.
Allen said the movie is deliberately vague about when the affair took place.
“I guess, when something is as vague as that, you can color it any way you want to color it,” she said.
“I’ve tended to color it, sort of, that it was quite innocent. When she says, ‘It was wrong and you knew it.’ I mean, I think maybe he led her on in some way. But when she says she was a child, I think she meant she was 16. Something like that.”
Harrison Ford is currently shooting the fifth Indiana Jones movie, which is being directed by James Mangold and is set to be released next year.