Roman Polanski and the woman he convicted of rape pose together 45 years later
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a recent one featuring Roman Polanski and his 1977 rape victim is certainly worth even more.
The disgraced Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby director and Samantha Geimer, who Polanski was accused of raping in Los Angeles at the age of 13, recently smiled and posed for a photo together. reaffirming their longstanding stance in the lengthy legal saga that has haunted them both for more than four decades.
Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner reposted the photo of the director and Geimer on Saturday Instagram following their recent meeting and interview recorded by the French publication Le point this month. The women described themselves as a kind of soul mate that Polanski inseparably linked and thought it important to speak “completely in solidarity”.
“Thank you Samantha…Photo credit David Geimer,” Seigner wrote Saturday, posting the photo of Samantha Geimer and Polanski. The original image appears to have been posted first on Geimer’s personal Instagram account and was taken by her husband, David Geimer.
Polanski, 89, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Geimer (born Samantha Gailey) in the 1970s at the age of 43. He fled the United States for France more than four decades ago after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977. Following allegations that he drugged and assaulted her at home Actor Jack Nicholson. He fled while he was still on probation and before a sentence was announced.
“Let me be very clear: what happened to Polanski was never a big problem for me,” Geimer Seigner said in a translated version of the interview, obtained by the Times on Monday. “I didn’t even know it was illegal that someone could be arrested for it. I was fine, I’m still fine The fact that we did that.” [a big deal] weighs terribly on me. Having to keep repeating that it wasn’t a big deal is a terrible burden.”
Geimer told Seigner that she “wasn’t a kid at 13,” and said what happened between her and Polanski wasn’t all that shocking because a lot of people were having illicit relationships with minors at the time.
“Back then, a whole bunch of teenage girls would have dreamed of ending up at Jack Nicholson’s house to have sex with the first guy they could get their hands on,” Geimer said.
The filmmaker was Arrested in Switzerland in 2009 but ultimately a Swiss dish rejected the US extradition request and released him. Seigner said that “things completely changed” after that. Polanski has not yet returned to the United States
“From there, everyone started talking about ‘rape, rape, rape,'” Seigner said. “But that word never struck me as appropriate for Roman because I know him so well; I know he’s incapable of violence. So yeah, after that the situation got awful, I felt ashamed and didn’t want to find myself facing people, they thought I could live with a guy like that.”
In response, Geimer said the goal was to “shame” and “humiliate” Seigner. She told Seigner that the 2009 extradition attempt was “so unfair and so contrary to justice”.
“Everyone should know by now that Roman has served his sentence. Which was… long, if you want my opinion,” she said in the translated article, adding that the filmmaker had “already paid off his debt to the company.”
Even at the height of the #MeToo movement, which she described as “really, really declining,” Geimer urged Los Angeles authorities to end the protracted case for the sake of both of them in 2017. In recent years, she has also called for the release of additional testimony in the case.
Last summer, unsealed court records revealed that a Los Angeles County judge intended to sentence Polanski to just 90 days in prison for the sexual abuse of Geimer, increasing the director’s chances of ending his fugitive status.
The mother of three adult sons also spoke about the case in her 2013 memoir, The Girl: A Life in the Shadows of Roman Polanski. Telling her version of the alleged events in the book, she said she feels more hurt by what she calls the “victim industry”: the lawyers, judges, and journalists, who she believes are sensationalizing their case for their own interests made.
“You shouldn’t be able to make what happened to me any worse, so it’s more interesting,” Geimer said The times Then. “You have to feel bad and be a victim so others can use you as they see fit.”
She repeated this view to Seigner.
“I insist, but the fact is, people don’t want to hear the truth if it doesn’t fit their purpose,” she said.
Geimer said she wasn’t very optimistic about the media’s shift in perspective.
“I’ve tried for a long time to get people to listen to me. And it seems like things are getting worse,” she said, to which Seigner replied, “We have to change things, it has to be. We are two of us now. We are stronger.”
Polanski has continued to regularly direct films to critical acclaim, but at least six other women have pressed charges over the years him for sexual abuse, with most of them saying the abuse happened when they were minors. None of these allegations resulted in criminal charges, and through his attorneys he has denied any wrongdoing in any of these cases.
The filmmaker, who has been nominated for five Academy Awards, was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2018 and was stripped of his directing Oscar for The Pianist Twice convicted movie mogul Harvey Weinsteinwas quoted repeatedly during the last academy crackdowns on the conduct of its members.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.