The 36-year-old and his collaborator and former college roommate Jean Celestin were accused of sexual assault by an 18-year-old female classmate while they were all studying at Penn State University in Pennsylvania.

Parker was acquitted following a 2001 trial, and Celestin's guilty verdict was overturned following an appeal.

The news of the rape trial resurfaced earlier this year (16), when Parker told he had moved on from the troubled chapter in his life. But the media wouldn't let the matter die - and the coverage appears to have affected the director's slavery drama, which broke distribution records at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah back in January (16), and was a very early frontrunner for a Best Picture Oscar.

In August (16), Parker expressed remorse over the way he had handled the controversy, particularly after discovering his accuser had committed suicide in 2012, and now fellow filmmaker Gibson, who has had his own trials by media in the past, has urged film fans who still aren't sure about going to see Birth of a Nation to remember the director was acquitted.

"I don't think it's fair," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "He (Parker) was cleared of all that stuff. And it was years ago. You have to follow the system there. I think he's innocent of all that stuff. The fact that he has to live with that stigma, and that it affects the art he does, is unfair."