During an interview with the Los Angeles Times' Asian Enough podcast, Liu shed her normally private persona to revisit memories of the conflict, which recently resurfaced and went viral thanks to a tweet from a former production assistant.
Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Stefan Hoederath/Getty Images Lucy Liu calls Bill Murray's comments during their 'Charlie's Angels' altercation "inexcusable and unacceptable."
According to Liu, the altercation stemmed from a scene that had been tweaked without Murray's knowledge. She went on to detail how, while filming the scene, Murray began to insult her.
"I won't get into the specifics, but it kept going on and on. I was, like, 'Wow, he seems like he's looking straight at me,'" said Liu, who at the time was just beginning to break into Hollywood thanks to her role on Ally McBeal. When she asked Murray point-blank if he was talking to her, she realized he clearly was, "because then it started to become a one-on-one communication."
Calling Murray's language "inexcusable and unacceptable," the actress confirmed she stood up for herself.
"No matter how low on the totem pole you may be or wherever you came from, there's no need to condescend or to put other people down," she continued. "And I would not stand down, and nor should I have."
A representative for Murray didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
While Liu acknowledged that she's crossed paths with her former costar over the years and has had amicable conversations, she doesn't regret her actions at the time.
"I'm not going to sit there and be attacked," she told the podcast, sharing a story from her childhood about how her immigrant mother was talked down to in a store because she couldn't speak English. "I don't know if it goes back to what happened to my mom in the store. I don't want to be that person that is not going to speak up for myself and stand by the only thing that I have, which is my dignity and self-respect."
Murray gave his side of the story to the Times of London back in 2009, saying, "Look, I will dismiss you completely if you are unprofessional and working with me… When our relationship is professional, and you're not getting that done, forget it."
Liu, for her part, recalled seeing the story coming out in the press when the incident initially happened and remembered how she was automatically painted as the problem.
"I didn't understand how it got flipped when I had nothing to do with instigating it or creating that platform of confrontation or anxiety," she admitted, noting the implications stayed with her throughout the years as her career evolved. "So even though it's been decades, it's something that obviously I remember very intimately and have not forgotten."