LOS ANGELES — After a week of intense scrutiny over a 17-year-old rape accusation, including the revelation that his accuser eventually committed suicide, actor and filmmaker Nate Parker took to Facebook on Tuesday night to address the growing controversy.

“Over the last several days, a part of my past – my arrest, trial and acquittal on charges of sexual assault – has become a focal point for media coverage, social media speculation and industry conversation,” wrote Parker, the writer, director and star of the forthcoming historical drama “The Birth of a Nation.”

In the post, Parker maintained his innocence and said the sex was consensual, but added that he could “understand why so many are concerned and rightfully have questions.”

Parker also said he was “devastated” by the news – broken by Variety on Tuesday afternoon – that the woman who accused him and a friend of raping her had committed suicide in 2012.

“I myself just learned that the young woman ended her own life several years ago and I am filled with profound sorrow,” he wrote. “I can’t tell you how hard it is to hear this news. I can’t help but think of all the implications this has for her family.”

The Facebook post is unlikely to end debate over the case, which comes in the lead-up to the Oct. 7 release of “The Birth of a Nation,” a biopic about Virginia slave rebellion leader Nat Turner.

“The Birth of a Nation” won two top prizes at the Sundance Film Festival in January and was then bought by Fox Searchlight for a record-setting $17.5 million.

– From news service reports