The director brought up his rape charge acquittal while promoting his 2016 film "The Birth of a Nation", prompting journalists to dig into the details and learn his alleged victim had committed suicide following the alleged 2001 incident.
Parker refused to discuss the matter further in interviews and his behaviour irked the media. As a result, the controversy sank "Birth of a Nation" once-firm chances of picking up a string of honours during the 2016/2017 awards season.
The director stepped away from Hollywood following the drama and now he has had a chance to take stock of how he handled the controversy.
"The last three years have been such a learning experience for me," he said during a press conference for his new film on Sunday, September 1. "I feel like I have gained so much wisdom from people in my circle."
"Three years ago I was pretty tone deaf to the realities of certain situations that were happening in the climate. And I've had a lot of time to think about that, and I've learned a lot from it. And being tone deaf, there were a lot of people that were hurt in my response, in the way I approached things. I apologise to those people."
He added, "I've learned, I'm continuing to learn. I'm 39 years old now. Hopefully I have a long way to go. The hope is that I can continue taking the wisdom from people who care enough... and help me to be introspective about where I am and what I've been through."
Nate was supported by Spike Lee in Venice, who told Deadline, "He explained to me the growth he had gone through, and also the pain, and when he said that, I said, 'Come on, brother. I'm with you.' That's why I'm here."