Liam Neeson has confessed he hasn’t been to confession for nearly 60 years after being “masturbation shamed” by a loud-mouthed priest.
The ‘Taken’ actor, 71, who was named Liam after a local priest and grew up in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, said on the ‘Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend’ podcast he told a holyman in a church confessional when he was aged 15 he had gone to his room and “masturbated” one day after getting into a big fight with some of his family members.
He added the priest – who he recalled had a “booming” voice – started yelling at him so loudly the “old women just outside the confessional kneeling down and saying their prayers” could “hear everything”.
Liam said: “So we start (confession when I was 15), and I had learned how to pleasure myself at home, onto the sheets, right?
“I had looked up the appropriate word: ‘Masturbate?’ ‘Masturbation?’ OK: ‘That seems harmless enough, I’ll say that.’
“‘You what?!’ (the priest screamed.) This guy, literally, I mean, he almost said things like, ‘The grass will grow over the palm of your hand before you’re 21! Stop that evil practice!’ He’s shouting this!”
Liam said about the incident leading to him never going back to confession since: “That was the last time I ever went.”
Liam has kept public admissions about his love life out of the public eye after his late actress wife, Natasha Richardson, died aged 45 in a skiing accident in March 2009.
The former couple were married from 1994 to 2009, and had sons Micheál, 28, and 26-year-old Daniel.
But Liam last year admitted that he fell in love with a “taken” woman while filming ‘Blacklight’ in Australia.
He said on Australian show ‘Sunrise’: “I loved Melbourne, I loved our Australian crew.
“Every department was superb but they were their own people, do you know what I mean?
“They had a great sense of humour. I made a couple of pals and fell in love once while I was there, but she was taken.”
Liam didn’t share any more information about the mystery woman’s identity or say whether she was one of his ‘Blacklight’ co-stars.