‘Anyone who thinks he deserves jail is wrong’: Roman Polanski's victim defends director who raped her when she was 13

17 April 2023, 16:12 | Updated: 17 April 2023, 16:15

One of Roman Polanski's victims spoke out about her feelings towards him in an interview with his wife.
One of Roman Polanski's victims spoke out about her feelings towards him in an interview with his wife. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Samantha Geimer said Roman Polanski attacking her "was never a big problem" in a new interview conducted by his wife.

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Ms Geimer, 60, was drugged and sexually assaulted by the director 46 years ago when she was just 13-years-old, but in an interview with French magazine Le Point, she said the media's response was worse than the attack itself.

Interviewed by Polanski's wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, Ms Geimer said: "Let me be very clear, what happened with Polanski was never a big problem for me.

"I was fine, I’m still fine. The fact that we’ve made this a big deal weighs on me terribly."

Roman Polanski served 42 days in jail for rape in 1978 before he fled to France after he heard the judge was planning to extend his sentence.

The 89-year-old has remained a fugitive ever since – and yet, Samantha Geimer has repeatedly come to his defence and even pleaded with the US authorities to drop the charges against him.

"Everyone should know by now that Roman has served his sentence. Which was… long, if you want my opinion. From my side, nobody wanted him to go to jail, but he did and it was enough. He paid his debt to society. There, end of story.

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Samantha Geimer has been in the public spotlight regularly since the incident in 1977.
Samantha Geimer has been in the public spotlight regularly since the incident in 1977. Picture: Alamy

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"He did everything that was asked of him until the situation went berserk he had no other choice but to flee. Anyone who thinks that he deserves to be in prison is wrong. It isn’t the case today and it wasn’t the case yesterday."

She went onto hit out at the press: "If someone had something to say about Roman, about any mistreatment, 1977 would have been a really good year to help me.

"Because with my family, we couldn’t even leave our house anymore! Everyone was attacking us."

She also seemed to reference the MeToo movement in her interview, as she added: "Imagine reaching adulthood in this era, it seems appalling to me. I don’t see what’s so feminist about claiming victimhood.

"Today, women’s pain is valued, and there’s a whole industry that exploits suffering. Those who participate in it don’t know what they’re stepping into."

The director has remained a fugitive since 1978, when he fled his sentencing.
The director has remained a fugitive since 1978, when he fled his sentencing. Picture: Alamy

This isn't the first time the 60-year-old has defended Polanski. In a separate interview with The Guardian from 2013, she criticised the public for chastising Polanski.

She said: "You’ll notice the culture has shifted so that everything has swung the other way and now it’s Roman the Monster."

Despite Polanski's fugitive status, the director's career has not suffered, as he has directed various films since, won a prize as recently as 2020 at César Award in France, and has another film scheduled for release in 2023.

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