*This is not an exact transcript, but rather an outline of my notes.
Roman Polanski is a film director known for his work on films like Rosemary’s Baby. He’s also known for being married to actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson Family while pregnant, as you probably know if you listened to my last episode.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. Today, I’m going to tell you about Roman Polanski and the charges against him for sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl.
Roman Polanski was born in 1933 in Paris, France. His father was jewish and originally from Poland, and his mother was originally from Russia.
They moved back to Poland to the city of Krakow in 1937 and were living there when WWII started with the invasion of Poland in 1939. Roman’s family and thousands of jews were moved to what they called the Krakow Ghetto. All jewish kids were removed from school and the adults were forced to wear arm bands to show that they were jews. They started rounding up all the jews and Roman witnessed an elderly jewish woman get shot in the street by a German officer.
When they started emptying out the ghetto and taking people to the concentration camps, Roman lost his childhood friend, Pavel, to the concentration camp. He says that was his first heartbreak.
Roman’s whole family was also taken to the concentration camp. His father, his mother, and his two half sisters.
His mother was actually pregnant and was murdered shortly after being taken to the camp.
That’s so eerie to me, when you know what happens to his wife Sharon 30 years later.
Roman watched his father forced to march in a line and taken to a camp that was known for their prisoners to death.
Roman was able to escape the Ghetto and stayed in a rural area with a Roman-Catholic family that knew his family, and they took him in.
He was just 30 miles outside of Auschwitz but because he was in hiding, he didn’t really know the extent of what was going on outside of this house.
Fortunately, Roman was able to pass as a Roman-Catholic boy for the most part. But that didn’t mean he was safe. He still had to spend some of his childhood like living off of berries and running from German officers.
After the war, he found out that his father and sister had survived. He found his father and heard the horrific details of what he witnessed in the camps.
When Roman was 14, he started acting in plays and eventually moved on to appear in Polish films. At about 20, he got into directing. In 1962, he directed his first feature film Knife in the Water, which won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. 1965, directed Repulsion. 1966, Culdesac.
With that success, he signed up to do Fearless Vampire Killers.
-Roman wanted Jill St John, Marty pushing for Sharon Tate.
When they started warming up, they did acid. He put on a Frankenstein mask and scared her. She was pissed. “Listen, Fuck you.”
He was still unconvinced about her acting, but she ended up really impressing him when they started working. But he insisted that she needed to wear a red wig for the film.
Roman was super difficult to work with, he would make Sharon do take after take after take. He had her do like 70 takes, literally and had her on the verge of tears. But the more time Sharon spent with Roman, she started to see the complexity in his personality and really admired his take charge attitude and his determination to make things perfect.
The more time they spent together, they started to fall in love.
Even though Roman still slept around. And he told Sharon that, that’s just who he is and it’s not in him to stop. And for some reason, Roman pulled a lot of hot chicks. And he was not a hot dude. Sharon even said so. She called him “interesting looking”.
But Sharon told him “I don’t want to smother you, I only want to be with you.” and he said “you know how I am, I screw around.” and she said “I don’t want to change you.”
So he always continued to sleep around. He was known as a womanizer and Sharon knew about it.
It’s believed that maybe Sharon wasn’t always ok with it but she accepted it, or maybe hoped he would eventually decide to settle down and only be with her.
In1968, Roman and Sharon got married in London. That same year, one of Roman’s biggest films ever was released-- Rosemary’s Baby.
This movie starred Mia Farrow. Mia Farrow continues to support Roman Polanski and calls him a friend… which I think is super weird! If you’ve listened to my episodes about Woody Allen, Mia Farrow claims to be against sexual abuse of children and called Woody Allen a monster for it, so it’s super weird to me that she still supports Polanski.
Anyway, Rosemary’s Baby made Roman a super star.
Sharon found out she was pregnant in the beginning of 1969. At first, she was afraid to tell Roman because she knew that pregnancy and babies reminded him of tragedy, like his mother who died in the Holocaust.
Sharon and Roman both spent the summer in Europe to film movies, and they planned to meet up and take Queen Elizabeth II back to Los Angeles in time for Sharon to have the baby.
They sublet the house to their friends, Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail (Gibbie) Folger, so they could watch over things while they were gone.
At the end of July, they were scheduled to take their ship back, but Roman called her at the last minute and told her he wasn’t ready to go home, he had too much work to finish up. She wanted to wait for him and fly home, but she was already like 8 months pregnant by this point so they wouldn’t let her on a plane. So she ended up taking the ship home by herself.
On Friday August 8th, 1969, Roman called Sharon to let her know that he’d be home the following Tuesday. That night, he went out with his friend, Victor Lownes, who ran the Playboy clubs in Europe, as well as Playboy Enterprises. According to Victor, they went out for drinks and Roman went home with a “bimbo” that night.
The next morning, Sharon Tate, along with her friends Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Jay Sebring, and a boy named Steven Parent, were found dead in Sharon and Roman’s home.
They had been murdered by members of the Manson Family.
Roman’s manager called him in London to tell him that Sharon and the baby, along with 4 others, were murdered in his home.
Roman broke down. He had to be heavily sedated. He flew home the next day. The moment he stepped off the plane in LA, he was hounded by the press.
He said that not being home that night is the biggest regret of his life.
Samantha Gailey was the daughter of actress Susan Gailey, who appeared in the 1975 film Starsky & Hutch.
Susan wanted to get her daughters, Samantha & Kim into acting so she got them headshots and had them go on auditions.
Samantha was a tomboy, but she was adorable. So her mom never made her dress up or take off her regular clothes.
Samantha’s sister, Kim, was dating a guy named Henri, who introduced their mom to Roman Polanski. One day, in 1977, Henri showed up saying that Roman Polanski was interviewing young American girls for a photo shoot he was doing for Vogue Paris. Samantha agreed to meet him.
Roman showed up and as they sat in the living room, Roman explained that they were doing a story on the differences between American girls and French girls. He showed Samantha and her parents a spread that he had done with Natassja Kinski.
In 1976, he met Nastassja Kinski and, according to his autobiography, slept with her. When he then learned she was only 15, he continued to sleep with her for several months, he wrote.
In Samantha’s own words, she was not an exceptional looking girl and she didn’t have the sex appeal that other models her agedid, like Natassja Kinski and Brooke Shields did.
Which is a really weird thing for me to say, because they were literally children. The fucking 70s really went all out with sexualizing children. Brooke Shields was like 10 when she started posing nude, and she was like 12 when she was in Pretty Baby where she played a child prostitute.
But in Samantha’s perspective, she was 13 and she didn’t feel sexy or feminine. So she was a little bit confused as to why Roman wanted to photograph her in the first place.
But Samantha’s mom and stepdad looked so happy and were hanging on Roman’s every word.
Roman came back a few days later with his camera to do a test shoot. He and Samantha walked up a hill just down the street and started shooting. He was kind of sighing and muttering how he just couldn’t get the right shot. She had brought 2 shirts to change into, so he told her to change into a new one. She turned her back and started to change, and was surprised to hear the camera click. She clearly wasn’t ready.
They continued shooting and she could just tell he wasn’t happy. So she kept trying to look sexier.
He finally told her to take her top off altogether.
Mind you, they’re in public, on a hill where people are walking by with their dogs or on their bikes.
But she was like “I’m a professional” and wanted to rise to the challenge.
Roman seemed happier with the shots at this point. Someone rode by on a dirt bike and Roman asked if that bothered her, and she said “no”. She was trying to be mature, like she was a pro at this.
After that shoot, Roman took her home.
Samantha figured the shoot went well because Roman called her mom and arranged a second shoot for Vogue.
Her parents were stoked.
On March 10, 1977, Roman picked her up for the shoot. Samantha asked her friend to come along, but Roman was rushing them out the door. As they were about to get into the car, her friend was like “how long is this gonna take? I have to be home by a certain hour” and Roman was like “mm it’s gonna take a while, maybe you should just go home.”
So she got on her bike and went home. Samantha’s mom thought all three of them had left together.
First, they stopped at the home of Jacqueline Bisset, who offered Samantha a glass of wine. Samantha thought it was weird, but Jacqueline said that she had no idea she was a minor. At 13 though, Samantha definitely looked like a minor. In fact, I’ll upload pictures of her at this age to BrokenLimelight.com.
They took a few photos there and he complained that there wasn’t enough light left in the day. So he took her to his friend, Jack Nicholson’s house.
On the car ride, he asked her questions like did she have a boyfriend and had she ever had sex.
The truth was that she didn’t have a boyfriend anymore, she was dating a 17 year old who dumped her because she was too young, but they had had sex once. That was the only time Samantha had ever had sex and it wasn’t anything memorable.
But she didn’t want to sound like a little kid so she lied and said that she did have a boyfriend and she’s had sex twice.
Samantha told him that she had seen a Playboy magazine once before. She was trying to sound mature.
When they got to the house, Jack Nicholson wasn’t there. There was a maid there but she left shortly after they arrived. Roman popped open a bottle of champagne and served a glass for each of them.
They started shooting in the living room, and he again asked her to take her top off. She figured, he must be taking one of those photos showing just the shoulders and above, to give the illusion of nudity. No one will actually see her naked, no big deal.
At first she was just posing with the glass of champagne, but as he was telling her how to pose, he started telling her “drink it. Hold the glass to your lips. Now lower it. Sip. look at me. Look over three. Sip a little.”
She drank it, and he refilled her glass. She tried to pace herself but was trying to focus on doing a good job. He kept refilling her glass, so it was hard to keep track of how much she drank.
He had her change into a dress, and then they went into the kitchen for more champagne. Samantha was sitting and licking an ice cube, and Roman started shooting pictures of her.
At this point, Samantha was aware that she was starting to feel buzzed. But as she drank, she also started to feel sexier, so she tried to enjoy it and told herself, look at me being sexy like the real models!
She downed another glass. He refilled it.
Then he said “Let’s take some photos in the jacuzzi.”
First, he suggested she call her mom and check in. She told her mom that her friend couldn’t come. Her mom sounded nervous and offered to pick her up, but Samantha was feeling pretty comfortable this time and insisted she was fine.
She finally felt like she was doing a good job modeling, and Roman finally seemed pleased with her so she thought she was just starting to get it right.
By now, it’s dark out but Roman assures Samantha’s mom that he’ll have her home soon.
Samantha didn’t have a swimsuit, so she figured she could just wear her underwear in the jacuzzi and the bubbles would cover everything up. Btw she didn’t wear a bra because she says she still wasn’t developed enough.
As she’s about to get in, he offers her part of quaalude. She says no. But then he asks if she’s ever had one (which she hasn’t) but she doesn’t want to seem uncool, so she says she has but she doesn’t like them. But then he keeps asking “are you sure you don’t want just a little piece of one?”
She figures he wants her to take it, so she does. And remember, her judgement’s already impaired from who knows how many glasses of champagne.
She felt her muscles turn into jello. She got really relaxed, too relaxed. He asked her to take her panties off. She figured that it was just because they were ruining the shots.
She took them off and grabbed her glass of champagne and posed for a few more shots.
But after a little while, Roman says “This is no good, there’s not enough light.” He then put his camera down, and started to get in.
This is when Samantha started to get uncomfortable. Roman took off his clothes, including his underwear, and got in the jacuzzi. He was on the opposite side as Samantha so he said “come here.”
She panicked, but she’s also really feeling weighed down by the quaaludes and the water.
Then he says again “come here. I want you to feel something.” She walked a little closer to him and he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her in closer to him, and he held her above one of the jets so she could feel the bubbles between her legs.
He said “See? Doesn’t that feel good?”
She got really, really uncomfortable and said “I can’t breathe, I have asthma.” which wasn’t true, but she was just trying to get away from him. She tried to back away, but his grip on her was firm. But he saw she was having a hard time, so he suggested she jump in the pool to cool off. She jumped in, swam to the other side, and ran into the house.
He went and said to her “how's your asthma?” She replied “I need to go home and take my medicine.” He responds “I’ll take you home soon.”
She told him she needed to go now. But he says she’ll be ok, and she should just lie on the bed and rest. She said “I have to go home” but he took her by the shoulders and walked her to the bedroom. He set her down on a big velvet couch and asked her if she was ok. She said “no, I’m not ok. I better go home now.”
He assured her she’d be alright.
He held her arms at her sides and started kissing her. She said “No, come on.” Between the pill and the champagne, she says her own voice sounded far away. He kissed her face and touched her breasts. He asked again if she liked it, but she couldn’t answer him.
“Then he goes down on me. I know what this is, of course, because I’ve read about it, but have never actually had someone do it to me. He asks if it feels good, which it does-- and that, in itself, is awful. I don’t want this, my mind recoils, but my body is betraying me. And that’s when I check out. I go far, far away. There is a sense of complete and utter emptiness. Oh, just my body. I’m not really in here. Okay, I see.”
She decided to stop fighting. It was really exhausting and she was kind of relieved that he wasn’t going to kill her and she figured she would get to go home after this was over with.
At one point, he stopped and asked if she was on birth control. She told him “no.”
He asked if she wanted him to enter her in the back, and she said no. She didn’t understand what he meant anyway, but then he penetrated her anally anyway. She didn’t even know that was something people did. She noticed she was wet from behind-- he had finished in her anus.
Then, when she finally thought it was over, there was a knock on the door.
Roman said they’d be out in a minute, so Samantha got up and put her underwear on, but Roman put his hands on her shoulders again, before taking her underwear off again.
As soon as they were done, Samantha got dressed and ran out to the car and waited for Roman to drive her home. She started crying. She started blaming herself for taking the pill, for taking the champagne, for posing topless.
He saw her crying and asked if she was ok. She said “yes.” and he said “yea, you’ll be alright.”
On the car ride home, Roman said to Samantha “don’t tell your mother. This’ll be our little secret.
Samantha suddenly remembered that she told Roman she had asthma, started to get really nervous that Roman would mention it to her mom, and that she would reveal it all to be a lie.
When they got to her house, she got out of the car and bolted into the house. She whispered to her mom “If he asks, tell himI have asthma. I told him that because I didn’t want to get in the jacuzzi.” She then ran up to her room and slammed the door.
She waited until she thought Roman had left, and then she called her ex-boyfriend, Steve, and told him what happened.
He initially didn’t believe her. What Samantha didn’t know was that her sister, Kim, was outside of her door listening and heard the whole thing.
Roman came inside with Samantha and offered to show parents some of the shots. He also brought a joint to smoke with them.
While hitting the joint and showing them the pictures, he actually showed them the shots of the test shoot where Samantha was topless. And he was totally nonchalant about it.
Samantha’s mom first noticed that the photos were awful. Like some were taken prematurely when Samantha wasn’t ready, the angles were all wrong, they were unfocused. She couldn’t believe it.
But when they got to the topless photos, Samantha’s parents froze. Their dog felt the energy in the room and started freaking out. Her mom started boiling and she said “get him out of here”.
Her stepdad gave him his joint and pretty much Uncle Phil-ed him out of the house.
At that point, the only thing they knew was that Roman took topless photos of her. But they were fuming.
After Kim overheard the phone call, she went back to her mom and said “he fucked her, mom.”
Her mom went up and asked her if he made her have sex with him, and she said “yes.”
At the advice of her accountant, Samantha’s mom called the police.
They asked her a bunch of questions, like “do you know what intercourse is” and “did he strike you” and “did he drug you”. Samantha says that she would not have been so open about the details if she weren’t still feeling the high from the quaaludes.
After she answered all their questions, they asked if he did anything else. She whispered to Kim, and Kim took a deep breath and said “Yes.. He also put it in her butt.”
That part shocked their mom. And Samantha was truly confused, she didn’t realize this was worse than the other place.
The police department told them they had to talk to the district attorney. There was something weird and secretive about this. They were told to park in like an underground parking structure instead of in front of the building.
There, Samantha started to like, act like a baby. She was tired and just wanted to be cared for, so she was snuggling in her mom’s lap, and her stepdad’s lap.
Then, the district attorney asked her if she ever had sex with Bob-- her stepdad.
They thought the parents were lying.
At this point, Samantha was livid, and felt like she was the one being treated like a criminal.
A day or two later, Samantha saw her story in the newspaper.
“Film producer Roman Polanski has been arrested and booked on a charge of raping a 13 year old girl. Polanski was arrested Friday night, a day after the rape allegedly occurred at the West Los Angeles home of actor Jack Nicholson. He was released on $2,500 bail.”
Nobody actually told them Roman was arrested, the newspaper was how they found out.
When they investigated Jack Nicholson’s home, they found cocaine and arrested Angela Huston too.
Before long, the newspapers were making up stories saying that Samantha’s mom arranged for Polanski to take topless photos of Samantha. In her book, Samantha stresses that this was not the case. Her mom certainly didn’t turn a blind eye to the abuse or allow it to happen.
Some newspapers went as far as to act like Samantha was a “little slut” who brought the quaaludes and cocaine over to Jack Nicholson’s house.
In 1984, Roman released an autobiography called Roman, and he tells the story of Samantha as if it was some hot and steamy sexual encounter. It’s fucking gross.
“In all my many premonitions of disaster, one thought had never crossed my mind; that I should be sent to prison, my life and career ruined, for making love.”
Roman tried to go on with business as usual. People in Europe were especially sympathetic to Roman and pretty much blamed Samantha for trying to ruin him.
Then he was arrested at his hotel, in front of friends.
He seemed like he legit didn’t know he was doing anything wrong.
But apparently he was holding a quaalude in his hand and tried to inconspicuously drop it. The officer caught him and arrested him for that.
Roman had a prescription for them for insomnia, but clearly he wasn’t trying to take it to sleep. They had a search warrant so they searched his hotel room, and there they found the films from Samantha’s photo shoot, including the ones in the jacuzzi where she’s naked down to the waist.
Angelica Huston agreed to testify for the prosecution in exchange for immunity on her drug possession charges.
In her testimony, she described Samantha as “she didn’t appear to be distressed.. She seemed sullen, which I thought was a little rude. She appeared to be one of those little chicks between, could be any age up to 25.. You know, she did not look like a scared little thing.”
About Polanski, she said
“I have seen him as aman with compassion, not someone who would forcibly hurt another person.. I don’t think he’s a bad man. I think he’s an unhappy man.”
Samantha watched her mom and sister testify about meeting Roman and how everything went down when they got home. It was mortifying.
When it was Samantha’s turn to take the stand, they pulled out the underwear that she was wearing on the evening in question as evidence.
Can you imagine sitting in a courtroom full of adults, with someone holding up and showing them your underwear, and them observing them for stains like that?
So they tried to test the residue on the underwear-- Oh, and they continuously called them “panties” which just made Samantha more uncomfortable. Especially since she’s thinking, all these adults are picturing me in my underwear.
So they tested the underwear and they found that it had semen in it, but not sperm. This could be due to a low sperm count (which makes it interesting that he was asking about her being on birth control.)
In the 70s, they couldn’t do much without the sperm, because the sperm would’ve given more details than the semen. So of course, the defense claims that the semen must belong to someone else.
First they show her underwear to the world, and now they’re calling her a slut.
And later on, both sides actually like fought over the underwear. They each wanted to get them tested by their own choice of labs, so the judge decided that the underwear would be cut in half so each side could test their own piece.
Can. You. Imagine.
They asked her how they got to the point of taking topless photos, and whether it was Roman’s idea or hers. She said that she did it at Roman’s suggestion, and she wasn’t wearing a bra because, well, she didn’t need one yet.
Then they asked her what happened after he started kissing her. Samantha’s mom didn’t want her to use slang terms about the encounter, so she told her the word “cunnilingus”, but little Samantha didn’t remember it right and she told the court that Roman went down on her and started performing “cuddliness”
So they were like “what does that mean?” and she said “it means he went down on me, or he placed his mouth on my vagina… he was just like licking and i don’t know. I was ready to cry. I was kind of-- I was going”no, come on. Stop it. But I was afraid.”
This poor girl, this must’ve been mortifying. She had to describe everything-- the anal, the oral, the quaaludes, they asked her to describe Roman having an orgasm inside her butt and the semen leaking out, and then him leading her to the couch and doing it again.
Since Samantha had admitting to having sex before being raped by Roman, his team decided to dig into her sex life. They wanted to know if she had a tendency to lie or fantasize about her alleged “sexual experiences”. They also tried to get her to undergo psychiatric evaluation.
Samantha’s team tried to fight that though.
Samantha’s family became pretty reclusive since Samantha’s name had been revealed in Europe, so now reporters were hounding the family. There was even someone parked outside of their house taking photographs of them, so they dodged under windows and booked it in and out of their houses.
The courthouse was packed whenever Roman was supposed to make an appearance. So the judge actually had them empty out a nearby courthouse and rip the tables and chairs out, and fill it with desks and phones for journalists to do their work.
Samantha and her family didn’t want the case to go to trial. They preferred to let Roman get off with a slap on the wrist than have Samantha be traumatized from being cross examined.
So the family actually had Samantha undergo a psychiatric evaluation by someone of their choosing. The point of this was to try to say that going to trial could do more harm to Samantha.
The psychiatrist determined that Samantha was a healthy teenager and there was no telling how much effect a potential trial could have on her.
After Polanski’s team got the results back from the underwear, it was claimed that there was no presence of sperm and therefore they couldn’t confirm whether or not it was Roman’s. But for some reason, his team decided to go for a plea bargain, something that would avoid prison time or deportation.
So they went with the only charge they could-- “unlawful intercourse”.
What the fuuuck is that even?
Well it was previously called “statutory rape”.
But the district attorney was not willing to accept the plea bargain. Samantha and her family felt like she was being sacrificed so that the DA could look good, so her lawyer was like “well then my client’s not cooperating anymore. Sorry. We’ll do whatever possible to avoid a trial.”
So they gave in. Roman was going to plead guilty to the one charge and only get probation.
The judge accepted the plea and Roman walked on the more serious charges. But Roman admitted to the rape on the record and Samantha was happy with the outcome.
But the judge wasn’t done yet. See, he didn’t wanna look like a pussy and he knew people weren’t gonna like him letting Roman go without so much as a day in jail.
So he told them “I’m gonna sentence him to 90 days in Chino State Prison for a diagnostic study”. Nobody wanted this except the judge and it was clear that he cared more about how he looked than about what happened to Samantha.
He actually spoke to journalists to find out what the public opinion was predicted to be depending on his decisions. So he was literally basing his decisions on the public opinion.
He actually put on like his own little play, he told the attorneys what to say and when, and they pretty much had no choice because they were afraid the plea bargain would fall through and the case would go to trial if they didn’t follow through.
So he basically told them that he would sentence Roman to the 90 days, but behind the scenes, the defense would request deferrals in 90 day increments. After a year when everything’s died down, the judge would make everything go away.
This judge at one point said to Samantha and her mom “what do we have here, a mother-daughter hooker team?”
I’m not sure what the context was or how he got away with that, but it’s in Samantha’s book.
Before Roman’s diagnostic study, the judge let him go to Bora Bora to film a movie he was working on. On his way, Roman stopped in Germany and went to Oktoberfest. He was photographed with young women all around them. Supposedly, the photos were cropped and the womens’ husbands and boyfriends were all in the shot too. But still, like-- why the FUCK would he pose for a picture at a time like this?
So the judge was furious. He thought Roman was making a mockery of him, and he ordered him to come back. So Roman came back and was to fulfil his 90 day sentence at Chino State Prison. For some reason that I can’t really understand, Roman was released after just 42 days. I guess this wasn’t the judge’s decision because at this point he wanted to lock Roman up.
On January 31st, 1978, the judge called all the attorneys to his chambers again. He angrily lectured them about how he wouldn’t allow Polanski to make a mockery of his courtroom.
Then his little intercom buzzed, and he yelled at his assistant not to interrupt. But she did and she said “Bill Farr is on the phone.” and he took the call.
Bill Farr was a reporter who was following the case. What was weird was that they seemed to be having some kind of high-level-decision-making conversation. And instead of being like secretive, it seemed almost like he was trying to show off, like “look at me, reporters calling me all the time”.
And judge is saying things like “I’m not doing that because ifI did that I’d be seriously criticized by everybody and I’m not going to be criticized for helping him.”
The lawyers were dumbfounded that he was having this conversation in front of them. And he spent like 30 minutes on the call so they just sat there and waited.
The judge then said on the phone that 42 days in jail wasn’t enough for Roman, so now he’s going to sentence him to an indeterminate sentence (could be a week, could be 50 years).
He saw that all the attorneys had shocked looks on their faces and he said “don’t worry about that, I want people to think I’m a tough sentencer. So we’ll do this, and when the attention is off the case, Dalton (that’s the defense attorney) will petition for a change of sentence and I will sentence him to time served. I’ll put this forth tomorrow.”
They were s h o c k e d. Dude was changing his whole plan after one phone call with a reporter.
The next day, Roman didn’t show up to court. Instead, he hopped on a plane to London, and then went to France.
In case you don’t know, France doesn’t extradite its own citizens under any circumstances. So Roman was able to go on with his life in France, where he was highly respected.
About a week later, all the attorneys got together and filed a motion to have the judge disqualified. The one thing they all agreed on was his lack of professionalism.
He filed an answer to the motion where he disputed it and said he remained fair, but he resigned, basically saving himself from being disqualified. Still, he never acknowledged any wrongdoing.
Samantha and her family were actually pretty relieved that Roman left the country. This was basically the end of retelling her story over and over again.
Roman continued his career in France for the next 30 years.
In 1984, Roman published his autobiography. After that, Samantha’s name started coming up again.
A few years after this, Samantha saw her name in the paper again, and this time it had an interview with Samantha that literally never happened. It had quotes from Samantha and her lawyer that were simply never actually said.
So at this point, Samantha’s like “literally everyone is profiting off of my rape… including Roman” And this is when she decided to sue him for sexual assault in civil court.
This was mostly just to shut him up but I’d be lying if I said she didn’t do it a little bit for the money. The truth was that she couldn’t afford to sue all these magazines that were printing false information about her.
This lawsuit went on for 5 years. Samantha, once again, had reporters outside of her house trying to sneak photos and videos of her and her family.
During this time, Samantha’s lawyer, Larry, went to France to depose Roman. They took a break and Larry went out to lunch, and he didn’t realize until he was done that Roman and his lawyer were at a table nearby, and he was gonna have to walk past them, which was awkward.
When he walked by, Roman stopped him and said “Larry, come here. Larry, you should’ve seen her. She was so beautiful, you would’ve wanted to fuck her too.”
The lawsuit was settled after 5 years for a $6 figure sum.
Around this time, Roman was also getting ready to marry his next wife, Emmanuelle Seigner. She was a french actress who was about 18 or 19 when they met, and he was like 51. They got married in 1989.
By the late 90’s, there were rumors that Roman Polanski was trying to make a deal to allow him to come back to the US. It was around this time that Samantha came out of hiding (she had been living in Hawaii to try to get away from the craziness in LA).
In 2003, Roman Polanski was nominated for an Academy Award for the film The Pianist. A few weeks later, he won an Oscar but was unable to go to Hollywood to accept it.
In 2008, his legal team filed a motion in LA County Superior Courtasking for dismissal of the case, on the grounds that in 1977 he had been deprived of due process of law. But the presiding judge dismissed it basically saying “get your ass back here and then we’ll talk”.
In 2009, Roman decided to go to Switzerland to go to the Zurich Film Festival and accept a Lifetime Achievement Award. I guess he just figured like, hey it’s been 30 years I’m sure it’s fine for me to leave France.
Well, it didn’t take long for the word to get out and Swiss police met him at the airport and arrested him for the 1977 conviction as soon as he stepped off the plane.
Roman was sentenced to house arrest. After 9 months of that, it was declared that Switzerland would not be extraditing him to the US.
Apparently Switzerland has very specific criteria for extradition. They would only extradite if the person had at least 6 months left to serve. And they couldn’t prove that Roman did because he was really only actually sentenced to the time he spent in Chino. Not only that, but in the year that Polanski was sentenced, not a single person serving time in California was serving more than 6 months. In fact, it was often no more than 2 months.
Ultimately they decided not to extradite him because the DA refused to hand over the key testimony and it appeared that the US had something to hide. So that pretty much ensured Polanski’s freedom.
Roman’s letter to Samantha
Back in May 2018, the French Academy did say the expulsion of Polanski (along with the now-imprisoned Bill Cosby) occurred in part because “the Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy's values of respect for human dignity.”
In February 2020, Polanski won Best Director at France's 2020 Cesar Awards which is like the French version of the Academy Awards. This time, there was an uproar even in France. People protested and multiple women straight up walked out of the awards ceremony. The entire Cesar leadership board ended up resigning.
Ultimately, Samantha says that she doesn’t think he truly meant to harm her. She thinks he wanted her to enjoy it and be into it. She also explains that in the 70s, the whole free-love ideals were taking over and sex was this magical thing all on it’s own and there was this freedom to veer away from societal norms about sex… and people started experimenting and some went as far as pushing limits and crossing lines.
Obviously, the reality is that Samantha was hurt and scared, and he did turn a blind eye to that and ignore her cries for him to stop.
But one thing that’s interesting to me is that, when she describes the encounter, she says how nothing is being said but “he’s in Hollywood so I imagine he’s filling in the lines” or something like that. And that just makes me wonder if he was legit like fantasizing that she was truly enjoying it, like the way he described it in his book.
And that’s not to excuse him in any way. At all. I guess it’s just me trying to make sense of it in a small way. And I'm not a psychologist or anything but I know when people have trauma, sometimes they can dissociate.
Either way, Roman Polanski is a pig and I hate him and I wish we would just stop giving him awards.
In April 2021 it was announced that Polanski was planning to direct a new film with a screenplay written by himself together with fellow Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski. The working title is The Palace. Polanski worked with Skolimowski before on the screenplay of his first feature, Knife in the Water, in 1962.