Skeletons in the Closet: Daughter of Klaus Kinski Alleges Abuse

Pola Kinski, daughter of late German actor Klaus Kinski, has accused her legendary father of years of sexual abuse in an interview scheduled to run in a prominent newsweekly. "He simply took what he wanted," she claims.

German actress Pola Kinski: "He actually abused everyone. He never respected other human beings." Zoom
DPA

German actress Pola Kinski: "He actually abused everyone. He never respected other human beings."

In an interview to be published on Thursday in weekly Stern, the eldest daughter of German actor Klaus Kinski accuses her father of sexually assaulting her from the time she was five up until she was 19 years old.

"He flouted everything -- even the fact that I often resisted and said, 'I don't want to.' He didn't care. He simply took what he wanted," Kinski told the magazine.

Kinski goes on to say that she spent her entire childhood living in fear of these outbursts from her father, who died in 1991. She says she was never able to view him as an actor. "When I would watch him in films, I always felt he was just like he was at home," she said. Kinski alleges that her father's behavior wasn't limited to his family: "He actually abused everyone. He never respected other human beings."

Klaus Kinski was one of Germany's best-known actors, known for his passionate performances that bordered on manic. A notoriously difficult interview subject and an eccentric who could swing from charismatic hero to demented tyrant on screen and off, he was nevertheless celebrated for his acting -- most notably his starring roles in the films of Werner Herzog, such as "Fitzcarraldo," "Nosferatu the Vampyre" and "Aguirre, the Wrath of God."

Pola is Kinski's eldest daughter from his first marriage to the singer Gislinde Kühbeck. He has two other children, a daughter Nastassja and a son Nicolai, from subsequent marriages. Pola, now 60 years old, is also an actor and has appeared in theater and television productions. She details her troubled childhood in a soon to be published German-language memoir, "Kindermund," or "Child's Mouth".

She told Stern that she's written the book in part to take a stand against the idolization of her father that followed his death. "Your father! Amazing! A genius! I always liked him!" she says. "I couldn't listen to it anymore."

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