Roman Polanski Accused of 1975 Rape


PARIS — A French photographer has accused the director Roman Polanski of violently raping her in 1975 in his ski chalet in Switzerland when she was 18, including to the checklist of a number of girls who’ve publicly accused Mr. Polanski of sexually abusing them as youngsters.

The director, who’s making ready to launch a movie on Wednesday coping with themes of injustice, “firmly denied” the newest accusation, his lawyer mentioned.

In a letter revealed on-line Friday by the French newspaper Le Parisien, the photographer, Valentine Monnier, 62, mentioned she was breaking 44 years of silence after a current interview by Mr. Polanski. In it, the director advised that he was a sufferer of persecution, like the principle topic of his new movie, Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish navy officer wrongly convicted of treason in what stays France’s most infamous miscarriage of justice.

“Is it credible to hear somebody say, ‘I accuse’ when they have branded you and forbidden you, the victim, to accuse him?” Ms. Monnier mentioned in an interview revealed by the identical newspaper.

A lawyer for Mr. Polanski, Hervé Temime, mentioned on Saturday: “For 45 years, these accusations have never been reported to judicial authorities. I strongly deplore their publication a few days before the release of his film.”

Ms. Monnier instructed Le Parisien that she went to Mr. Polanski’s chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, within the winter of 1975 with associates, however had not recognized him personally. When the group went snowboarding, she mentioned, he propositioned her in vulgar phrases whereas they have been seated collectively on a ski elevate, and he or she declined.

Later that night, after returning to the chalet from dinner, Mr. Polanski referred to as her upstairs, she mentioned. “Life had not yet trained me to be suspicious,” she instructed the paper. When Ms. Monnier arrived on the highest touchdown, she continued, Mr. Polanski emerged bare and threw himself on her, hanging her, tearing off her garments after which raping her.

“I was totally shocked,” she instructed the paper. “I weighed 50 kilos. Polanski was small but muscular and at 42 was in the prime of his life. He got the upper hand in two minutes.”

She mentioned she remembered fearing she would die. “I said to myself, this is Roman Polanski. He can’t take the risk that this would be known, so he will have to kill me.”

Mr. Polanski later apologized to her in tears, she mentioned.

Ms. Monnier mentioned she wished to talk publicly with a purpose to deliver an finish to “idolizing the guilty ones.”

Mr. Polanski has lived in France since 1978, when he fled the United States earlier than sentencing after pleading responsible to having illegal intercourse with a 13-year-old lady.

Because the statute of limitations for rape is 20 years in France, her accusation can not result in an investigation or prosecution. “I denounce this crime knowing that there can’t be any punishment, in an attempt to end exceptions, impunity,” she mentioned in Le Parisien.

In an electronic mail to The New York Times on Saturday, Ms. Monnier declined to remark additional.

Le Parisien reported that it had spoken with members of Ms. Monnier’s entourage, together with an in depth good friend, members of the family and her then-boyfriend, who corroborated her story.

Mr. Polanski’s new movie, recognized in English as “An Officer and a Spy,” is titled “J’Accuse” in French, after the famous open letter in which the writer Émile Zola accused the French establishment of anti-Semitism and deception over the jailing of Dreyfus.

In an interview published in August with a French writer discussing “An Officer and a Spy,” which is scheduled to be released in French theaters in the coming week, Mr. Polanski said: “There are moments of this story that I feel I’ve lived myself.

“Every season there’s a new accusation, a new absurd story from a woman I’ve never seen in my life and who accuses me of things that supposedly happened a half century ago.”

In 2017, a German former actress, Renate Langer, accused Mr. Polanski of raping her in 1972, when she was 15, also in his Gstaad chalet. Swiss prosecutors declined to pursue a rape investigation in that case, citing statute of limitations laws.

Mr. Polanski has also been accused of sexual abuse by the British actress Charlotte Lewis, who said in 2010 that the director abused her in 1983, when she was 16; and by a woman publicly identified only as Robin, who in 2017 said that he had “sexually victimized” her in 1973, when she was 16.

Also in 2017, an artist, Marianne Barnard, accused Mr. Polanski of molesting her in 1975, when she was 10. The director said at the time that he rejected the “unfounded allegations.”

He remains wanted in the United States over the case involving the 13-year-old, Samantha Geimer, but France does not extradite its citizens. Judges have denied multiple requests from the director to drop the decades-old case.

Feminist groups in France have regularly staged protests against Mr. Polanski, including outside a retrospective of his career at the prestigious Cinémathèque in October 2017.

Although Ms. Monnier first spoke publicly on Friday, she had long made her story known to those close to her, she told Le Parisien. She said she also written about her accusation to France’s first lady, Brigitte Macron, to the culture minister and to the junior minister for gender equality, Marlène Schiappa, in 2018.

Ms. Schiappa, in turn, wrote a letter to Ms. Monnier in March of that year, which The New York Times has obtained.

In the letter, she praised Ms. Monnier for “breaking a 42-year-old silence,” and said she empathized with her pain, adding, “I understand your indignation.”

Liz Alderman reported from Paris, and Elian Peltier from London.



Source link Nytimes.com

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