Love Actually star Liam Neeson has appeared on Good Morning America insisting he is not racists following the publication of a highly controversial interview by the British actor.

While promoting his latest film, Neeson recounted to UK national newspaper the Independent, the story of a close personal friend of his who had been raped.

When she identified the culprit as being black, Neeson then revealed:

“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some black bastard would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”

Speaking to GMA, the 66-year-old insisted: “I’m not racist.”

“This was nearly 40 years ago,” he said.

He said he had felt a “primal urge to lash out” at the time, and had subsequently sought counselling after being “shocked and hurt” by his own reaction.

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“I did seek help, I went to a priest,” he said.

“It was horrible, horrible when I think back, that I did that,” he said.

“It’s awful, but I did learn a lesson from it.”

“You sometimes just scratch the surface and you discover this racism and bigotry — and it’s there.”

Neeson has since cancelled all planned media commitments until further notice.

WSFM 101.7 Sydney