Roman Polanski – famous director drugs and rapes 13-year-old girl, flees country, and remains free (with support from Hollywood friends)
// June 6th, 2016 // Strange
Roman Polanski’s tale reads like millions of other child abuse stories except the participants were rich, elite, and never paid for their crimes. In fact, the abuser, famous movie actor and director Roman Polanski, was celebrated – and continues to be celebrated today. Countries seek his artistic merit and refuse to extradite him while Hollywood elites continue to claim his reparation – a month in jail, a week of psychological evaluation, and decades on the run after fleeing the United States – were sufficient for his crimes. Polanski remains free, and continues to direct and appear in movies (e.g. Rush Hour 3), despite tricking, drugging, and raping 13-year-old Samantha Gailey.
By 1977 Roman Polanski was on top of the world. It had only been eight years since the brutal murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, in the Manson Family murders, but Polanski, a celebrated film director, experienced a series of career-making professional triumphs during the 70’s. He’d directed the hit movies Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown and received multiple Academy Award nominations. Polanski seemed to be an unstoppable force in the movie industry – then his world came tumbling down.
Roman Polanski is accused of child molestation
After Tate’s death, Polanski remained single, enjoying the fruits of being a relatively young man with money, charisma and talent to burn. Hollywood rags noted that he was often seen squiring pretty and interchangeable model-actress types to party after party in Los Angeles, London, and Paris, where he split his time. At the top of his game, in 1977, his world came crashing down after Polanski was accused of six felonies: furnishing Quaaludes to a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse, rape by use of drugs, oral copulation, sodomy, and child molestation. For the second time in less than a decade, Polanski found himself at the center of a fierce media firestorm.
All the hallmarks of a sleazy exploitation film
The setting was glamorous: a famous actor’s house, the abode of Polanski’s close friend, Jack Nicholson (who was not home at the time of the incident). The participants were elite: a famous director and a nubile, aspiring actress-model and an ambitious (some might even say complicit) mom. There was a steamy Jacuzzi. There were drugs — Quaaludes to be precise. There was booze: champagne, of course. All under the premise of a legit photo shoot for Vogue magazine.
But this was not the plot of a tawdry B-movie, nor even some nihilist parody directed by Polanski, starring one of his many beautiful actresses. It was real life, but would rival the most sordid scenes he would ever direct.
Who was Roman Polanski
Polanski experienced unimaginable tragedy at a young age. Born in France of Polish-Jewish descent in 1933, he and his family moved back to Poland in 1936 and were swept up in the horrors of the Holocaust. His mother was gassed while pregnant at Auschwitz; and his father was sent to the Mauthausen-Gusen forced-labor camp. Young Roman escaped from the Krakow Ghetto before his parents were sent to the camps, and was sheltered by Polish families while pretending to be Polish Catholic.
With only the beginnings of a formal education in hand (he was taught by his half-sister before his flight from the ghetto), Polanski escaped his horrific reality through the movies and quickly became enamored with the industry. He attended the Lodz Film School and became one of Poland’s fastest-rising stars. Shortly after, he married Barbara Kwiatkowska, an actress, and landed on the cover of Time magazine for his film, Knife in the Water – all by the time he turned 26. He was nominated for his first Oscar that year in Best Foreign Film category.
Polanski divorced Kwiatkowska after only two years of marriage and soon after met Sharon Tate. Tate and Polanski were married in a London ceremony that was followed by parties that went on for days. Shortly after, he experienced his first major Hollywood success with the hit movie, Rosemary’s Baby (starring Mia Farrow). He was flying high when the Manson murders took the life of his wife and their unborn baby. Polanski had been in London at the time of the slaying and was due to fly back home, when he got the call about the murders.
After Tate’s murder, Polanski flew to Paris and lived for three years in Italy. He was often seen dating younger and younger girls in press photos. By 1977, he had revived his career with the movie Chinatown, again receiving critical accolades from the film industry. Along with Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, he was considered amongst the very best directors of the time.
Vogue Hommes magazine requests an adolescent photo shoot
Polanski had finished working on an ill-received movie, The Tenant, when he got a call from Vogue Hommes magazine. The magazine was a precursor to the lad magazines of today, such as Maxim or FHM. Scantily clad pictures of girls were a commonplace feature. Polanski had shot a cover photo of his rumored paramour Nastassia Kinski, then 15 years old, for French Vogue in 1976, and editor Gerald Azaria asked Polanski to do something similar for Vogue Hommes.
Polanski explained to the editor that he would be aiming to portray these adolescent girls “as they really are” in the world: “sexy, pert and thoroughly human.” By “adolescents”, he and the magazine reportedly understood this to mean 13- or 14-year-old girls. In the sexually anarchic 1970s, this was a proposal which could pass as relatively unexceptionable.
Assignment in hand, Polanski sought subjects for the shoot. He met with Henri Sera, a friend and an aspiring singer. A year prior, he and Henri had met a woman named Susan at On the Rox, the upstairs bar inside the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip which was frequented by celebrities like John Belushi, John Lennon and Alice Cooper. After the meeting, Sera had begun dating one of the woman’s daughters, and suggested to Polanski that the younger sister, Samantha Jane Gailey, would be perfect for the shoot. She was an aspiring model and actress.
It was a familiar situation for Polanski. In Europe, he had met Kinski under similar circumstances — her mother had introduced him to the nubile, aspiring model and actress. His photos had helped launch Kinski’s career, and he cast her in the lead role in his controversial movie, Tess.
On February 13, 1977, Polanski left the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, which served as a semi-permanent home for many of the Hollywood elite. It was the same place where Julia Roberts was filmed strutting through the lobby in Pretty Woman. Polanski kept a penthouse suite at the hotel. His neighbors were Warren Beatty and Steve McQueen.
Polanski drove to Woodland Hills in the Valley and was introduced to the family. When he met Gailey though, he was disappointed because he found her to be so unremarkable. She was certainly no Nastassia Kinski; she looked perhaps a bit like Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver. Pale with a tawny cast to her hair, she had a huskier voice than one would have expected for a girl so young.
For the family, he flaunted impressive photos of Kinski in Vogue, a fact that would later be played up by the prosecution:
“We have this man coming in, showing an elaborate, slick paper magazine — Paris Vogue — with beautiful photographs of beautiful girls and scenery and background… almost like a movie setting.”
No photo session occurred on that day, but the family was duly impressed. They agreed to schedule a photo shoot later. Polanski told her and her mother that their session would last no more than an hour.
The Polanski/ Samantha Jane Gailey photo shoot
Polanski returned to the Gailey’s home on February 20. After selecting some of the different outfits from the pile that Samantha and her mother had chosen, he and Samantha drove a mile away into the hills, where the Pacific Ocean could be seen in the distance. After shooting her in several different blouses, he then asked to her remove her top — telling her that her breasts would not be shown, just the top of her shoulders.
She nevertheless later testified that she was uncomfortable.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to tell her or not. I was just going to say I didn’t want to get any more pictures taken by Polanski again.”
Afterward, Polanski suggested a second photo shoot. Polanski complained during the first shoot that the light was fading, crucial in photography, and asked for a second session. He took Samantha back to the house where her mother was waiting. After making loose arrangements for a second shoot, he left the next day for New York.
The second photo shoot
On March 10, 1977, Polanski arrived again at the Gailey home, two hours late. In a hurry, Polanski and 13-year-old Samantha dashed off unaccompanied by either her mother or the friend that Samantha had planned to ask to come along. First, they went to Jacqueline Bissett’s house on Mulholland Drive. There, he shot mostly straight photos of her, though he reportedly persuaded her to pose without a bra. She posed near the pool while several of Bissett’s friends watched through the windows of the house.
But the light again seemed to be fading too fast and Polanski proposed that they shoot indoors at Jack Nicholson’s house, only a few minutes away. Polanski phoned Jack Nicholson about coming over, but the actor was out of town, skiing in Aspen. The house-sitting neighbor, Helena Kallianiotes, told him to come over.
Though their earlier shoot had been mostly unremarkable, Samantha now began to become increasingly uncomfortable. In the ride over, he reportedly began to pry, asking Samantha if she was a virgin and if she knew about masturbation. She told him she had a boyfriend.
Polanski persuades Samantha to pose nude in the Jacuzzi
Once they got to the house, Samantha asked for something to drink. Instead of grabbing one of the myriad of sodas or juices, he poured three glasses of champagne, for himself, Samantha and Kallianiotes.
Kallianiotes then left for work, and Polanski resumed taking pictures of Samantha. Sensing that she was relaxed, he asked Samantha to take off her top again. She posed with the glass of champagne against her breast, the Hollywood lights flickering behind her. Polanski later said:
“We weren’t saying much now and I could sense a sort of erotic tension between us.”
Before she did so, she called her mother, who asked if she was all right or needed to be picked up. At that time, Samantha said that everything was fine.
After the phone call, Polanski brought out a Quaalude broken into thirds. He took one piece, and she took another.
They went outside to the Jacuzzi; she was about to get in when he asked her to take off her underwear. She protested but went along with it — later she would say she was already feeling disoriented. She posed for pictures with Polanski standing above her and shooting her in the water. But the combination of the heat of the Jacuzzi, the Quaalude, and the champagne was beginning to have a dizzying effect on her.
Polanski then decided he would join her. He put away the camera and went to the bedroom and returned naked, and got into the Jacuzzi. He tried to sidle up to her in the Jacuzzi, at one point grabbing her by the waist, but she protested, according to her testimony. She tried to get out, telling the director that she had asthma (she did not). He was dismissive, “Yeah, I’ll take you home soon.” She asked to go home again and he told her to lie down in the cabana.
She protested yet again. “No, I think I better go home.”
Later she would explain to the grand jury why she didn’t protest more vehemently: She had been afraid.
“What were you afraid of?” prosecutor David Wells asked.
Despite her rebuffs, Polanski continued to solicit the young girl. He testified that he tried to “kiss and caress her” in a gentle way. Her recollection is different: She repeatedly told him, “No,” and “keep away.”
Polanski told her, “I’ll take you home soon,” and started to perform oral sex on her.
Throughout the time leading up to the trial and during the trial, there had been radically opposed descriptions of Samantha’s actions in the press. On the one hand, she was portrayed as an innocent, starry-eyed 13-year-old girl who had posters of Spiderman on her wall; on the other hand she was painted as a precocious nymphet, sexually initiated and experienced with drugs. She was either a virgin or a whore, depending on the account. But in her testimony, one quote stands out. It witnesses her true age and inexperience. She described oral sex as “cuddliness,” evidently meaning cunnilingus. Apparently, she didn’t know the correct pronunciation of the word.
The assault is interrupted by Jack Nicholson’s girlfriend
Midway through Polanski’s assault on Samantha, Jack Nicholson’s then-girlfriend Anjelica Huston arrived at the house. When Polanski had been unable to reach Nicholson, he had called Huston, so she knew he was at the home. She wasn’t fond of Polanski. She found him to be “a freak.” She came home and heard noises but couldn’t locate him. She finally knocked on the door of the room in which Polanski was consummating his assault on Samantha. He opened the door and told her “We’ll be a few minutes.”
While she was reportedly irritated that Polanski had presumed to use her boyfriend’s house for a sexual conquest, she failed to note anything dangerously amiss, later only describing Samantha somewhat unsympathetically as “sullen.”
Meanwhile, as Polanski was explaining away the circumstance to Huston, Samantha had put her clothes back on. Polanski closed the door and ordered her to take her clothes back off. The assault continued unabated.
“This is our little secret”
Afterwards, Samantha cleaned up and got in his car. She cried for a few minutes while she waited for him to return and take her home. In the car he turned to her and said, “Don’t tell your mother about this and don’t tell your boyfriend, either. This is our little secret.”
He continued with an attempt at flattery: “You know, when I first met you I promised myself I wouldn’t do anything like this with you.”
During the half-hour drive back to the Valley, he told her he would take her and her family out to see Rocky the following week. “My motives weren’t particularly altruistic,” he later said. “It was one way to be sure I’d see her again.”
When they arrived at the house, he escorted Samantha inside, and smoked a joint with the mother and her boyfriend. He showed them the photos from the first session.
As with the rape, there were two differing accounts. The girl’s mother recalled that upon seeing the topless photos, “jaws dropped.”
Sera had called Polanski later that night and told him that the family didn’t like the pictures at all. But Polanski remembers it differently: he recalled that they liked the pictures.
The director had gone back to his hotel and had dinner. He later met with Robert De Niro to discuss the possibility of working together.
Samantha reveals the assault to her parents
Sera’s phone call to Polanski was perhaps the first tip-off that his liaison was not without consequence.
Samantha’s mother was about to find out that the pictures were just the tip of the iceberg.
Her initial discovery of the rape was a game of telephone. First, Samantha told her boyfriend. Then, she told her sister, who told her mother, who called the police.
The girl was brought in for questioning and submitted to a rape-kit examination — the results were indisputable: there was evidence of “minor bruising to the anus,” and no evidence of vaginal rape. There was seminal fluid on her underwear.
At the end of grand jury testimony on March 24th, Polanski was indicted on six felony counts: furnishing Quaaludes to a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse, rape by use of drugs, oral copulation, sodomy, and child molestation.
The Arrest or Roman Polanski
The day after the rape, Polanski had big plans: he was supposed to go out with his 19-year-old girlfriend Lisa Rome, and a director, Frank Simon on the Sunset Strip. But at 7 p.m., Detective Phillip Vannatter put a distinct crimp in his evening. He intercepted the director as he was leaving the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire. The officer was somewhat discreet, explaining that they should go up to Polanski’s room. Upstairs, a total of nine cops were in the room with Polanski, who was treated so well that he was never put in handcuffs. They even appeared a bit star-struck; a few reportedly asked for an autograph.
But the director became increasingly more nervous: he realized that he had a Quaalude in his pocket and tried unsuccessfully to drop it discreetly to the ground. An officer saw the attempt and pocketed the pill. Police wouldn’t need that pill for evidence, though; they found a vial of the drug in the hotel room. They confiscated the photos from the first photo shoot featuring Samantha topless, as well as rolls of film.
The arrest of Angelica Huston
Meanwhile, back at the Nicholson house, during questioning and a review of the house using a warrant, Anjelica Huston was found to be in possession of drugs – cocaine and pot – and was also arrested. She would later cut a deal with the prosecution to testify against Polanski in exchange for the dismissal of her drug-possession charges.
At 1 a.m. in the morning, Polanski was finally booked. One of the officers yelled at Polanski: “What the hell do you think you’re doing, going around and raping kids?”
Polanski was released on bail. As he drove to a friend’s house (foregoing the hotel which the press had already begun staking out), he listens to the radio reports. Whether or not he is cleared, he knew that he was finished in Hollywood.
Conflicting accounts emerge
Did Polanski believe he had done nothing wrong; was he so accustomed to sleeping with younger girls impressed by his power and fame that it seemed like nothing at all to drug and sexually assault a 13-year-old? He told his attorney Douglas Dalton a version of the events that is similar to, but varies dramatically in tone from, Samantha’s account.
He said that she’d had two glasses of champagne. “It was dusky,” he recalled. “I said we should call her mother. She talked and I talked… She told her mother about the Jacuzzi and that she was going in.”
He continued: “I found a little box in the bathroom with Quaalude pieces marked ‘Rorer.’ She took one piece. There was conversation about it, but there was no actual offer by me.”
And he maintained, “I went to the bedroom. She never objected. No, we didn’t discuss birth control pills there, we discussed them later the car. There was no discussion about her period. I withdrew before climax. There was no discussion about what to tell her mother. The whole thing was very spontaneous. It was not planned.”
On April 15, the court was convened for the preliminary hearing in Santa Monica. As expected, the media presence was overwhelming, as the international foreign press had descended on the beachside town. Protestors and hucksters lined the street: one man sold both “Free Polanski” and “Jail Polanski” t-shirts. The prosecutor, Roger Gunson, was described as resembling Robert Redford. Roger Gunson was a respected lawyer with reddish blonde hair and good looks. He was a straight-talking Mormon, who was a perfect match for Polanski’s own lawyer, Douglas Dalton, who was measured and low-key.
They quickly reached a plea deal for the director, in part to spare the girl and her family unwanted scrutiny. The prosecution knew that victims are often reluctant to testify in open court. And Samantha’s semen-stained panties provided damning physical evidence providing strong motivation for the defense to plead out.
On August 8, Polanski entered a plea of guilty to one count: “unlawful intercourse” or statutory rape. Though the more salacious charges involving sodomy, drugs and alcohol were dropped, it was still possible — though unlikely — that Polanski could be sentenced to 50 years in prison.
The rest might have been cut and dry, but there remained sentencing and the judge, Laurence J. Rittenband, was known to sway with media pressure.
The judge’s first ruling
By the time he presided over the Polanski case, Judge Rittenband already had a notable career. He was accustomed to handling celebrity cases, having ruled on Elvis Presley’s divorce, Marlon Brando’s custody battle, and Cary Grant’s paternity suit. He seemed to relish being in the limelight and enjoyed proceeding over the high-profile cases.
In his own world, he was something of a celebrity himself. He was a well-known, longstanding member Hillcrest Country Club in Beverly Hills, where he often mingled with movie stars, and was still a bachelor at the age of 71. A girlfriend noted that he loved champagne.
Throughout the Polanski proceedings, he was mercurial, swinging between congenial and stern, swinging from seemingly impartial to sympathetic toward Polanski. Still, he was known to be a tough judge and tough sentencer. Steve Barshop, a now-retired attorney, said, “If you didn’t have the deal in place when you went in there, you were in trouble.”
Many felt Rittenband was in love with the spotlight. Samantha herself said:
“I was young but I felt the judge was enjoying the publicity. The judge didn’t care about what happened to me, the judge didn’t care about what happened to Polanski. He was orchestrating some sort of show I didn’t want to be in.”
Certainly, several of his actions were unorthodox. He was press-savvy and took pains to make comments that would help shape the way the story was covered. He even gave courtroom “reservations” to different publications fighting to cover the trial.
The initial sentencing appeared to be cut and dry. The judge ordered Polanski evaluated by two psychiatrists to clear him of being a mentally disordered sex offender. Sentencing would follow. Polanski was evaluated and passed with flying colors.
But prior to the sentencing date, Rittenbad held a private meeting with the prosecution and defense teams to share with them the findings of the two court appointed psychologists, and to tell them how he was going to rule — he would recommend a 90-day sentence for diagnostic study at the California Institute for Men at Chino, essentially further psychiatric evaluation. Rittenbad told the lawyers that he would be walking through the two psychologists’ recommendations and would then state his ruling. The lawyers were to pretend they didn’t know how he was going to rule. Implicit in this was the understanding that Polanski wouldn’t be sentenced to hard time in a prison and would receive probation.
Polanski’s raucous lifestyle angers the judge
Until then, Polanski was free to go to finish a movie overseas. He was allowed 90 days, and every 90 days Dalton could request a continuance for up to a year. But while overseas, Polanski went to Germany and attended an Oktoberfest event in Munich. He was with several people, including several women, in a crowd of 10,000 people in a tent. A photographer passing by noticed him, and snapped a few quick shots of the director lounging with women, smoking a cigar, and drinking beer. The photos were swiftly published around the world.
For someone who was supposed to be hard at work on his next project, it was not a good look. Rittenband was incensed and believed he’d been duped. He was embarrassed. All bets were off. He wanted Polanski back in the country and made clear that prison might now be back on the table.
After testimony from all parties, the judge found that Roman Polanski was indeed working, but Rittenband was still irate. No further stays were granted and Polanski, then prepping his next movie, Hurricane, went into protective custody at Chino. At Chino, Polanksi was put on cleaning detail. After serving 42 days, he was released — the psychological report recommended probation.
The judge toughens the sentence
The media was having a heyday. Rittenbrad was drawing out the sentencing, and it seemed that Polanski would be walking away from any serious time. It then leaked that Rittenband was considering a serious penalty of time in jail — he had casually made a comment to someone at the country club.
Rittenband then called the attorneys for both parties back to the chambers, and explained that he was going to toughen the sentence. He wanted Polanski to make up the rest of the 90 days at Chino; to make sure that the sentence looked robust enough for the press. Then, evidently believing that Polanski’s moral breach justified sending him out of the country, he indicated that he wanted Polanski to volunteer to be deported. But there was a catch — Rittenbrad had no power to compel Polanski to do so.
The day before sentencing, Dalton told Polanski that he thought that the sentencing could likely be overturned on appeal — although it would take time, time during which Polanski could be in custody. Dalton told Polanski that Rittenband had mentioned deportation. Polanski asked if they could trust the judge to honor the original plea deal, and Dalton told him no.
Polanski flees the country
On February 1, 1978, Polanski fled. He drove to the Beverly Hills house of Dino DeLaurentis, the Italian producer. The producer gave him $1,000 in cash. Polanski then drove to Los Angeles International Airport and bought a one-way ticket to London. In London, Polanski then quickly bought another one-way ticket to Paris, where he has lived since.
“I ran away because I think I was very unfortunate to have a judge who misused justice. I was some kind of mouse with which an abominable cat was picking for sport.”
Dalton filed a motion to have the judge dismissed for prejudice. Rittenband was removed.
Polanski picked Paris because he was citizen of France by birth and because French law made it only discretionary to send him back for a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse; it would have been mandatory if Polanski had pleaded guilty to rape.
In France, Polanski enjoyed a place in the cultural establishment. He was elected a member of the prestigious Académie des Beaux-Arts and has worked on more than a dozen movies. One of them, The Pianist, won several Oscars — including Best Director and Best Actor for the lead actor, Adrian Brody. Polanski, of course, didn’t come to the U.S. to receive the honor.
On September 27, 2009, though, Polanski was arrested and held by Swiss authorities while traveling to Zurich, Switzerland, where he was going to receive the Golden Icon Award at the Zurich Film Festival.
Arrest and extradition attempt
Polanski’s arrest was a surprise even to him — he’d had a chalet in Gstaad for many years, and had never been arrested. Polanski had long avoided London because of his fear of extradition, but he had never had cause to suspect Swiss authorities of pursuing extradition. On July 12, 2010 however, his fears were absolved. The Swiss rejected the United States’ request for deportation and declared Polanski a “free man”. In their opinion, Polanski had already served his punishment and did not need to face a U.S. court again. Apparently a month in jail, a week-long psychological examination, and three decades on the run was deemed enough punishment for the rape of a 13-year-old girl.
The Hollywood Reaction
Polanski, briefly an outcast from Hollywood, soon became its darling. Upon the news of his Swiss arrest, many actors, actresses and other entertainment heavyweights signed petitions for his release and issued public statements in support of the director. Others continue to work for Polanski with no regrets. The list is long, including:
- Salman Rushdie
- Milan Kundera
- Neil Jordan
- Isabelle Adjani
- Isabelle Huppert
- Mike Nichols
- Diane von Furstenberg
- Paul Auster
- Woody Allen
- Pedro Almodovar
- Wes Anderson
- Darren Aronofsky
- Sigourney Weaver
- Harrison Ford (accepted his Oscar for him in 2003)
- Monica Bellucci
- Stephen Frears
- Tilda Swinton
- Martin Scorsese
- David Lynch
- Terry Gilliam
- Kate Winslet
- Mia Farrow
- Harvey Weinstein
- and many, many others.
But there is a culture war within Hollywood. One of his supporters, Emma Thompson, withdrew her support after speaking with a student at Exeter University. The student’s argument persuaded her to pull her name from the petition. Whoopi Goldberg inadvertently put her foot in her mouth on The View, when she proclaimed that it wasn’t really “rape-rape.” Harvey Weinstein dismissed it out of hand, calling the rape “this so-called rape.” Many celebrities seem to endorse the idea that the judge had badly mishandled the sentencing and that Polanski’s 42 days at Chino and the 30-plus years out of the country were punishment enough for the rape of Samantha.
But many others wonder if Polanski’s Hollywood defenders have ever bothered to read the grand jury transcripts (see transcript below) which reveal a far more troubling motive than merely inadvertent sex with a minor.
Today Polanski is a dual citizen of both France and Poland (Polish officials denied a request to deport Polanski on October 30, 2015) and remains a free man. Following the rape of Samantha, Polanski claimed he did not know her age. He then went on to have an affair with 15-year-old Nastassja Kinski.
Bernard-Henri Levy remains friends with Polanski and was qyoted as saying that Polanski “perhaps had committed a youthful error”. Roman Polanski was 43-years-old when he raped Samantha.
Frederic Mitterand, the French culturalminister noted that the trial of Polanski showed “the scary side of America” and described Polanski’s situation as “thrown to the lions because of ancient history”.
Whoopi said on The View that Polanski’s crime wasn’t “rape, rape”. Just some other form of rape. “I know it wasn’t rape-rape. It was something else but I don’t believe it was rape-rape. He went to jail and when they let him out he was like, “You know what, this guy’s going to give me a hundred years in jail. I’m not staying.” So that’s why he left.”
Anne Applebaum minimized Polanski’s crime in the Washington Post claiming “there is evidence Polanski did not know her real age”.
Novelist Robert Harris celebrated his friendship with Polanski (Polanski recently filmed one of Harris’ books) saying “His past did not bother me”.
In a 2005 interview, said she still regards him as a “close friend”. She flew to London to testify in his behalf in his libel suit against Vanity Fair.
Roman Polanski (from 1979 interview with Martin Amis)
“If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press… Judges want to f*ck young girls. Juries want to f*ck young girls. Everyone wants to f*ck young girls.”
Samantha Geimer reaction 30 years later
“What I will say is: it was rape. Not only because I was underage, but also because I did not consent. My hesitance to throw the word rape around is because in my own mind that word implies a level of violence that did not occur in my case. Prosecutors and others throw a lot of words around very freely. I prefer to be more thoughtful when choosing my words.”
Otto Weisser (upon Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland)
“This is for me a shock. I am ashamed to be Swiss, that the Swiss is doing such a thing to brilliant fantastic genius, that millions and millions of people love his work. He’s a brilliant guy, and he made a little mistake 32 years ago. What a shame for Switzerland.”
Signers of petition to release Roman Polanski
When Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland on a warrant for his 1977 case, more than 100 Hollywood celebrities signed a petition to have him released from prosecution and sentencing. The petition read, “We demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski. Filmmakers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision… It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary film-makers, is used by the police to apprehend him… Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his freedom. Filmmakers, actors, producers and technicians — everyone involved in international filmmaking — want him to know that he has their support and friendship.”
Signers of the petition included:
Luc et Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Rosalinde et Michel Deville
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Wong Kar Waï
Betrand Van Effenterre
Swiss Refuse to Extradite Polanski
The 30-year flight of Roman Polanski from the legal consequences of the statutory rape of 13-year-old Samantha Jane Gailey in 1977 took another surprising turn on July 12, 2010, when the Swiss Ministry of Justice announced it would not extradite the aging auteur to the United States to face sentencing for the crime to which he had confessed. Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf declared that the Swiss government took no position on the charges against Polanski or the course of the legal proceedings from which he had fled, but rejected the extradition request because the U.S. Department of Justice had not provided all the legal records which the Swiss Ministry of Justice had requested and because Polanski had in fact had a reasonable expectation that he would not be arrested as a fugitive when he entered Switzerland in September 2009.
The U.S. Department of Justice expressed disappointment over the decision. “We are deeply disappointed,” said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer “We thought our extradition request was supported by the facts. We’re going to review our options.” Unfortunately, it is not clear that the U.S. Department of Justice has many options: Swiss Justice Minister Widmer-Schlumpf declared that the 76-year-old Polanski was now free, having been released in December on a $4.5 million bail, and the U.S. could not resubmit its extradition request on the charges currently outstanding against Polanski, although, she noted, the U.S. could attempt to extradite Polanski from other countries through which he might travel.
February 2003 CNN interview of Samantha Geimer
Aired February 24, 2003 – 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, it was the Hollywood sex crime that shocked America. Director Roman Polanski, whose beautiful wife Sharon Tate had been murdered by the Manson family, accused of raping a 13- year-old girl. He pled guilty to unlawful sex with a minor but fled before being sentenced for his crime and he’s been a fugitive from U.S. justice for 25 years.
Now Polanski’s victim speaks out in her first live primetime interview. Samantha Geimer is next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Later Samantha Geimer’s attorney who has been her lawyer through all of this, Lawrence Silver, will be joining us and we’ll be taking your phone calls.
Samantha wrote an op-ed piece in “The L.A. Times” this past weekend urging people to judge the movie “The Pianist” not the man when it comes to awards.
For example, yesterday in London, over the weekend, Roman Polanski and his latest film “The Pianist” won best director and best picture awards at both the British Academy Film Awards and France’s Caesar Awards. “The Pianist” has been nominated for seven American Academy Awards including best director and best picture. And we’ll talk about why you think he should be judged by that and not by other things. But thanks very much for coming.
SAMANTHA GEIMER: Thanks for having me.
KING: How did you first meet him?
GEIMER: I met him to do a photo shoot. So he had met my mother socially and asked to photograph me, I guess maybe he saw pictures of me or saw me.
KING: Was he a — we’re showing pictures of you young that he took. Was he also a photographer as well as a director?
GEIMER: I guess so.
KING: He wanted to take pictures of you?
GEIMER: He asked to photograph me for a French magazine, a French fashion magazine.
KING: What did you think of that? GEIMER: I thought it was a great opportunity. I wanted to be an actress. I was actively auditioning and did some commercials. It seemed look a really great, you know, boost to get…
KING: Living in L.A.?
GEIMER: Out in the valley.
KING: He knew your mother?
GEIMER: Just met her but didn’t know her. Met her socially.
KING: Where he did first see you?
GEIMER: I guess he must have seen a picture of me and came by to meet me and then asked, you know with the pretense that he was interested in photographing me from the beginning.
KING: How old was Roman at the time?
GEIMER: About 40. I’m not sure exactly how old.
KING: Was the picture shoot up set?
GEIMER: There was. We had two shoots.
KING: Shot where?
GEIMER: One was just up the street from my house, an outdoor kind of like, not remote, but wooded or grassy area. And then the second time we went was the more formal shoot, kind of a test shoot, the first time. And he took me to Jack Nicholson’s house up in Mulholland Canyon.
KING: Is that where the…
GEIMER: The shoot and everything else was, yes.
KING: .. took place? All in one day?
KING: Did you know who he was?
GEIMER: I knew who he was, but not — I wasn’t really aware of his celebrity. I could tell from all the adults that he was a celebrity. But I don’t think — it kind of was over my head.
KING: Did you know about Sharon Tate? She must have died a few months prior to this, right?
GEIMER: I think it was a few years prior and I probably knew that, but honestly I think a lot of stuff I was unaware of and then, after all this happened, well, now I know all kinds of stuff.
KING: Well you’re a beautiful young girl. Did you tell all your friends you were going to be…
GEIMER: I did.
KING: … in pictures with Roman Polanski, the famous director who also obviously is also a photographer.
KING: So the first time he took pictures with you in the outdoor setup, nothing happened, untawdry?
GEIMER: He did make me a little uncomfortable. He asked me to change, you know. I kind of turned my back and stuff, but it felt a little funny, but I thought well, that’s what models do and…
KING: Had you ever modeled?
GEIMER: No, not really. Just commercials and stuff. It was like a job for me. I was…
KING: You were in junior high school.
GEIMER: Yes, ninth grade.
KING: Ninth grade.
KING: All right, the second shoot was how soon after the first?
GEIMER: I think a couple of weeks.
KING: And that was at Jack Nicholson’s house?
GEIMER: And that’s where we went up to Jack Nicholson’s house.
KING: In your own words, Samantha, what happened?
GEIMER: Well, I tried to take a girlfriend along because I was feeling uncomfortable. But he kind of at the last minute asked her not to go.
So actually when I left, my mom didn’t realize I was going alone…
KING: How’d you get there?
GEIMER: … I was already in the car. We drove up in his car…
KING: He picked you up?
GEIMER: Picked me up at my house, we picked some clothing and stuff…
KING: Your father know him, by the way?
GEIMER: No, my father lived in Pennsylvania. He was — I didn’t, you know — he wasn’t around.
KING: Did you have brothers and sisters?
GEIMER: I have a sister.
KING: A sister. So you go alone in his car. What happened? Anything happen in the drive up?
GEIMER: We were just talking. It is kind of a long drive. I was feeling a little more at ease and he seemed a little more pleasant than the first time. So it didn’t take long for me to get comfortable with him.
I wasn’t having any, you know, feelings like, you know, something wasn’t right. I felt pretty good about it. We were going up there and we were doing the pictures and different outfits and different locations and stuff, and, you know, he was quite nice and seemed like it was going to be fine.
KING: So now we’re at March 10, 1977.
KING: What happened? What time of day was this?
GEIMER: We went up in the early afternoon but ended up staying until after dark.
KING: OK. Did the picture shoot develop? Did you start to take pictures?
GEIMER: Excuse me?
KING: Did pictures — I mean did he have a camera?
GEIMER: Oh, right, we took pictures all day. He took many, many pictures of all different rooms, different outfits, inside, outside. It was like a regular photo shoot.
KING: When, Samantha, when did what happen happen?
GEIMER: Well, at the end of the evening after it got later, and during the…
KING: Did you have dinner?
GEIMER: No, we didn’t have dinner but during the course of this I was posing with some champagne glasses and did drink champagne.
KING: At age 13?
GEIMER: Yes, thinking that was a very cool thing to do. So and maybe that’s why I was feeling a little more comfortable. So it got late towards the evening and then he went to take some pictures in the hot tub, you know, real pretty looking hot tub outside. So we…
KING: Was any one there but you and him?
GEIMER: Just he and I, and no one else.
KING: No assistant photographer? No lighting person?
GEIMER: There was some kind of housekeeper or somebody who left. So then we were alone.
KING: Because usually with professional photography…
GEIMER: It was much more casual than that. I didn’t know what to expect. It all seemed like it was going fine.
KING: Did you do the hot tub scene?
GEIMER: So we did the hot tub.
KING: You were in a bathing suit?
GEIMER: No, I wasn’t. I was in there up to here, but topless but covered up. I was just assuming this was for a European magazine, I know standards there are a little bit different.
KING: You’re pretty hip? (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
GEIMER: I thought I was, I guess I wasn’t.
KING: You were a virgin?
GEIMER: I just figured I wasn’t — no, I wasn’t.
KING: You were not a virgin?
GEIMER: No, I had a boyfriend for quite some months before that.
KING: So you had had sex before?
GEIMER: And embarrassing as it is, I’ll tell you, yes, we did it once. So that was about as close as you can get to being a virgin but just one step away.
KING: So what happened?
GEIMER: So that was even still fine and I just — I didn’t think anything — I assumed if something was showing, it would be cropped out and be appropriate because this was going to be for a magazine and, you know it must be the way things are done. But then he got in the hot tub and that’s…
KING: What was he wearing?
GEIMER: We were pretty much done photographing. I guess shorts or something. I don’t remember.
KING: What’d you say?
GEIMER: I said — well that’s when I realized that something was wrong. This doesn’t feel right anymore. So I told him that I needed to get out of the hot tub and that he needed to take me home because the steam was giving me an asthma attack. I just made it up.
KING: You made it up?
KING: But to get out you would have — he would have had to seen you topless?
GEIMER: Oh, right, he photographed me topless. He’d seen me topless. I just was thinking, well this is very European, it must be all right.
KING: OK, so you — what happened?
GEIMER: So I’m feigning my asthma attack, you know, I got out, put a towel on and everything. We walked in the house. And I was going, you know, I really don’t feel good, I’m having trouble breathing. I don’t remember exactly what I said.
KING: But you said drive me home?
GEIMER: And I was like, yes, I need to go home because I’m not feeling well. And then that progressed to, you know, eventually why don’t you come in here an lay down into a very dark room and that’s when I really realized, you know, what his intentions were.
KING: Did he forcibly rape you?
GEIMER: You know, I said no. I didn’t fight him off. I said like, no, no, I don’t want to go in there, no. I don’t want to do this, no. And then I didn’t know what else to do. We were alone. And I didn’t want to — I didn’t know what would happen if I made a scene.
I was just scared and after giving some resistance figured, well, I guess I’ll get to go home after this.
KING: So you completed the sexual act.
KING: It was just straight sex, nothing else?
GEIMER: It was all kinds of…
KING: Did you ask you to do other things?
GEIMER: He did things and I didn’t do anything.
KING: So he did but you didn’t.
KING: But then did you get dressed, he did drive you home?
GEIMER: I got dressed, he drove me home.
KING: What was said in the car?
GEIMER: He asked me — I was crying when he came back to the car. I went to the car. He went in to speak to — I think Anjelica Huston came home and was quite perturbed…
KING: She was with Jack at the time?
GEIMER: … to find him there, especially with me.
KING: She saw you?
GEIMER: Real quick because I just straight to the front door, hi, out…
KING: Waited in the car?
GEIMER: And then so I was kind of crying a little bit because I was upset, I was becoming more — I was intoxicated.
So he asked that, you know, you shouldn’t tell your mom. We should keep this secret and we really didn’t chat on the way home. We just drove back to my house with not a lot being said.
KING: We will continue this incredible story right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMAN POLANSKI, DIRECTOR: Nothing I can tell you except that I’m innocent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: By the way, the still pictures that we have shown you for the benefit of our viewers were taken several days before — they were not the pictures taken the day of the statutory rape, right?
GEIMER: I think those were the first shoot. Yes, first shoot.
KING: Yes, first shoot, it’s got to be experimental shoot. Right. Now you get home. Did you tell your mother?
KING: You just kept it in?
GEIMER: Well, what happened when I got home is he had brought along slides of the first photo shoot, so I just went home and went straight into my room, and mom told me later she was kind of wondering why my hair was damp. And so I went into my room and missed everything else that happened, but what did happen is he showed them slides from the first shoot that showed me topless, and they were — their jaws dropped and they’re shocked and the dog peed over the floor, and I missed all that. So I just went to my room.
KING: That was your mother and who, your sister?
GEIMER: My mother, her boyfriend and my sister who were the ones who were home.
KING: So when do you — so your mother is upset that you took topless pictures.
KING: She’s mad at you?
GEIMER: No, she didn’t say anything, no one said anything to me about that. Because I was just still in my room. I hadn’t come out. They were kind of mulling through that, figuring out what to do between themselves, I guess.
KING: When did you decide to tell her?
GEIMER: I didn’t tell her. I actually later that night I called my then — who is now my ex-boyfriend, and…
KING: How old was he?
GEIMER: He was 17, and I was almost 14.
KING: You told him what happened?
GEIMER: I told him what happened and my sister overheard me because she happened to be outside my room, and then told my mom.
KING: Did you tell your boyfriend that it was forced?
GEIMER: Yes, yes.
KING: OK. So your sister tells your mother. So your mother now runs into you, right?
GEIMER: Right. Well, she probably thought about it for a minute, and then — and then came in and asked me if it was true, and asked me what happened. And then tried to — everyone was trying to figure out what to do.
KING: So the three of you and the boyfriend — your mother’s boyfriend discussed this.
GEIMER: I sat in my room and I let those guys all…
KING: They discussed it. GEIMER: They were just — you know, they were hysterical.
KING: Who decided to take action?
GEIMER: After a little bit of discussion and some phone calls…
KING: This is now the same night?
GEIMER: This is, you know, a half hour later, my mom called the police.
KING: And said?
GEIMER: And said, you know, my daughter has been raped. And send the police over.
KING: And they came over.
GEIMER: And then they came to my house.
KING: And they questioned — you gave them a full thing…
GEIMER: And then, you know, reluctantly because I wasn’t really happy about discussing it then or ever since, he (ph) told them what had happened, they questioned me like a victim, and I told them my story and they took me to the hospital.
KING: Examined you?
KING: So they proved that there was sexual…
GEIMER: I think so, yes.
KING: You did tell them — all you did was say no, that it wasn’t a struggle of any type, right? You told them the truth.
GEIMER: Yes, I told them the truth. I don’t know, I can’t remember exactly what they asked me, and frankly I didn’t think they believed me.
GEIMER: I could be wrong. I don’t know who they are, you know, anymore, but I was getting the definite feeling that they didn’t believe what I was saying.
KING: Then who filed the charges?
GEIMER: Well, the state, I guess.
KING: So the police had to take it to the state, right?
KING: When did the charges get filed? How long after you were questioned and went to the hospital did they file the charges?
GEIMER: I don’t know. It all happened pretty fast, though.
KING: All hell breaks loose?
GEIMER: I mean, it just seemed like the next morning, everything was just crazy.
KING: And how did you react to all of that?
GEIMER: Oh, it’s horrible. I was terrified.
KING: Was your name printed?
GEIMER: No, thanks to my attorney.
KING: Who we’ll meet in a couple of minutes.
GEIMER: He convinced the people who did want to print it…
KING: Did your mother get — your mother got your attorney for you?
GEIMER: Actually, my dad found my attorney, because he knew him from Pennsylvania.
KING: Was he a little ticked, your father?
GEIMER: Yes, yes, he was, you know, upset with — just upset. He was upset I ever wanted to be an actress to begin with so…
KING: OK. So the whole thing. But your name wasn’t printed?
KING: Ever printed?
GEIMER: Not until years later — I guess not until I said it was all right, I think.
KING: So you were the unknown girl.
GEIMER: Right. Jane Doe.
KING: The pictures weren’t printed?
GEIMER: The pictures he took? No, those were confiscated by the police.
KING: There was no “Enquirer” or “Star” then.
GEIMER: No, not back then.
KING: Nobody would have paid 50,000, 100,000 to get those pictures. GEIMER: I guess probably, but they were getting plenty of pictures sneaking around out front of my house and coming to my school and taking pictures of me with long angled lenses.
KING: And he denied it, right?
GEIMER: He denied it.
KING: Some in the media, as we understand it, attacked you, and your mother.
KING: They thought your mother was a show business kind of mother and was looking…
GEIMER: Well, she was an actress. No one believed us. I don’t remember anybody saying anything but that we were lying and we had made it up, and that’s all that was said.
KING: So the tendency of most people was to believe Polanski, who denied it.
KING: When did that mood change?
GEIMER: Years later, maybe 10 years later. Then there was a big gap in the publicity, and then years later, well, now people are a lot more sympathetic about this, I guess.
KING: They were defensive of Polanski at the time of the trial even?
KING: How soon after did he come to trial?
GEIMER: We never went to trial.
KING: Well, there was a preliminary hearing.
GEIMER: There were some hearings and stuff. You know, Larry would be able to answer that, but it all was very close together. It just seemed to all happen so fast.
KING: We’ll be right back with some more moments with Samantha and then we’ll be joined by her attorney, Lawrence Silver. And we’ll be including your phone calls. Don’t go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “CHINATOWN”)
JACK NICHOLSON, ACTOR: Where did you get the midget?
POLANKSI: You know what happens to nosy fellows? No? Wanna guess?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That was the famous nose scene from “Chinatown.” Roman Polanski hitting Jack Nicholson. Roman Polanski directed that historic film. No question the greatness as a director.
Now, when the trial — there was no trial. He was charged, I want to get this right — he was charged with felony counts and he was going to plead guilty to at least six felony child charges, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor being one of them. He got 42 days at Chino State Prison undergoing psychiatric evaluation, right? And there was some sort of plea bargain, right?
GEIMER: There was a plea bargain reached.
KING: And then he was about to be sentenced off that plea bargain, right?
KING: And what had the prosecution recommended? I mean, there was a plea bargain…
GEIMER: I know that everyone agreed on the plea bargain.
KING: So he would have to do a certain amount of time.
GEIMER: It was going to be time served. He was to be supposed done, time served with the 42 days.
KING: And why did he flee?
GEIMER: Because the judge, the night before the hearing or the day before changed his mind and told everyone I’m getting a lot of pressure, I’m not going to do it, I’m going to put him back in jail and my attorney, when he comes on, he can explain to you the details of that.
It is very interesting but quite a shock to everybody what happened.
KING: We’ll get the attorney to explain that.
Were you shocked that he fled?
GEIMER: Not when I understood what had happened. You know, it was like you go from you’re not going to go to jail to I think maybe I’ll give you, Maybe, 50 years. And I was actually relieved when he left because that kind of ended it for me.
KING: Do you know how he got out of the country, again?
GEIMER: He ran off to the airport or something.
KING: Didn’t he have a passport? GEIMER: He must have.
KING: Usually they remove your passport.
GEIMER: I guess they didn’t. But he left his car at the airport and he took off and he was scared.
KING: All right. Why did you write the article in “The L.A. Times” saying, Don’t judge him on that when you’re judging the film?
GEIMER: Since he’s been nominated and the film is so popular…
KING: It won in Britain yesterday…
GEIMER: I heard that.
KING: …and France.
GEIMER: Whenever — my phone will start to ring when things like this happen. So everybody wanted to ask me, you know, do you think he should be allowed to set of award after what he did? So I’m just answering the questions everybody is asking.
KING: And your answer is?
GEIMER: I don’t think that the movie has anything to do with me or what he did to me. A lot of people worked on that movie besides him.
KING: So you’re saying to the Academy, if you think it is the best picture. You’re not telling them how to vote…
GEIMER: I haven’t seen it, so…
KING: If you think it’s the best picture, vote for it.
KING: Don’t hold — and if you think he’s the best director, vote for him.
KING: But you wouldn’t want him to get back in the country to get the award? He can’t come back, can he?
GEIMER: He can’t come back, you know, so no, it will probably be a poor choice.
KING: What comes of your life after this?
GEIMER: The next year was really hard for me.
KING: You break up with your boyfriend?
GEIMER: That happened, actually, just before. But, you know, I went through high school and crazy teenage years.
KING: Now, no one knew it was you, right? Except…
GEIMER: Everybody knew at me because every body at school — every body knew. I lived in Woodland Hills. Everybody knew.
KING: So the name wasn’t printed, though.
GEIMER: But no, but just people knew it was me who knew me.
KING: Did you date? Did you lead a regular life? Could you…
GEIMER: Yes, I got back with the same boyfriend for awhile, got married I was 19, briefly. That’s where my oldest son, you know, came from and later I met my husband and now we’ve been together 15 years.
KING: You live in Hawaii.
GEIMER: Live in Hawaii, have two other sons and, you know, just went on with my life because I don’t really ever think about this until it comes up, you know? It is not really something to worry about.
KING: Why have you not seen the movie?
GEIMER: It’s not my kind of movie, honestly.
KING: About the Holocaust and….
GEIMER: Yes, I don’t go for dramas. I’m more action, adventure, comedy so, you know, it is probably I just wouldn’t see. That’s just personal taste. That has nothing to do with him.
KING: When Roman Polanski comes on television or something or he’s done a film in the preceding years, did you pay any interest?
GEIMER: Not really. I mean, it’s just — he’s just a stranger to me. I met him twice, three times, 25 years ago and I just feel, you know, there is no connection, you know, there is this connection that seems to never go away. But on the other hand, his life really has nothing to do with my life.
KING: In retrospect, would you have been upset at the plea bargain to time served? In other words, Roman Polanski goes free after 45 days.
GEIMER: We were — every one was comfortable with that. That’s what we wanted.
KING: Your mother was happy about that?
GEIMER: Yes. I never even asked for him to be put in jail.
KING: Your father was with it?
GEIMER: Well, I don’t know about that, although I didn’t talk to him about it.
KING: You didn’t think he deserved more time in jail?
GEIMER: No and the publicity was so traumatic and so horrible that, I mean, his punishment was secondary to just getting this whole thing to stop. I mean, it was crazy. There was people outside my house and, you know, it was horrible.
KING: And his life, of course, would never be — he would always be — and he will be if he wins these awards, it’s always going to say when he passes on in the first paragraph of the obituary, Roman Polanski who…
GEIMER: Right. So, I mean, that’s his form of punishment in itself. I think everyone finding out about it when you’re a celebrity that’s a high price to pay in itself.
KING: When you think back, he knew you were 13?
GEIMER: Yes, he did. I was almost 14, but I was 13. I think he knew how old I was.
KING: What do you think happened? Why do you think he did this?
GEIMER: I just think he used to like really young girls and…
KING: You weren’t the first?
GEIMER: I don’t — you know, I don’t know. No one else has ever spoken up and said anything. So I have to assume that it’s just me. But I think he was just using really bad judgment and, you know, just went further than he should go. I’m sure….
KING: If you sister hadn’t overheard the conversation with your boyfriend, would we have ever heard the story?
GEIMER: No, I never would have told my mom.
KING: So it was just happened that if she didn’t listen, her — the mere fate of her listening changed lives that night drastically.
GEIMER: She just happened to hear.
KING: That judge still living?
GEIMER: No, he’s not.
KING: We’re going take a break and when we come back we’ll be joined by the attorney for Samantha Geimer, Lawrence Silver, and we’ll be including your phone calls.
You’re watching LARRY KING LIVE. We’ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUGLAS DALTON, POLANSKI ATTORNEY: He did call me this morning at my home and he told me he would not be here. I asked him to call me again because I wanted to discuss this with him further and a chance to persuade him to return. He said he would call me again.
QUESTION: Is there a warrant out for his arrest?
DALTON: There’s a bench warrant that was issued by the judge.
QUESTION: What does that mean?
QUESTION: Is out of the country?
DALTON: I can’t discuss that.
QUESTION: You indicated you thought he might be.
DALTON: I indicated in court that I do not believe he is in the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We’ll be going to calls shortly. We are talking with Samantha Geimer, the victim in the 1977 Roman Polanski statutory rape case who wrote the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) piece in the “L.A. Times” yesterday saying, if you’re going to vote, vote on the film on its merits and if — he’s the best director vote him best director, don’t take into consideration what he did personally years ago to her.
We’re now joined by Lawrence Silver, the attorney for Samantha Geimer.
Explain this to me, Larry, you were her attorney then.
LAWRENCE SILVER, SAMANTHA GEIMER’S ATTORNEY: I was.
KING: Were you part of the plea bargaining?
SILVER: Larry, today you see Samantha and she’s fine, robust, healthy woman. But at age 13, and this was before O.J., there was just the intense publicity. This was — this courthouse, with cross examination about these sort of delicate events was not the place for a recovering young girl.
KING: So, she never appeared in court?
SILVER: No. Well before the grand jury but never in court. And, you know, the Santa Monica courthouse has five entrances and most news channel had one camera crew at each entrance to try to get a picture.
KING: It would have been a circus?
SILVER: It was a circus. It was a circus.
My job, I thought, was to try to keep her out of the courtroom, try to keep her to getting back to her life.
KING: You did that?
SILVER: And — yes, I think we did.
KING: Were you shocked what the judge did?
What did the judge do, tell us?
SILVER: Well, what the judge did was frankly outrageous. We had agreed to a plea bargain. It wasn’t what the prosecution wanted, it certainly wasn’t what Polanski wanted, but it was what we wanted. We were the victim and this is the way in which Samantha would not be in trial. Samantha would be — her name would not be exposed at the time. And she would be allowed to recover.
And the plea was proposed to the judge, the judge approved it. And then frankly the day before he called us in the chambers and said he was getting a great deal of pressure and a great deal — he was concerned about criticism of him in the press. And he was going to sentence Polanski rather than to time served, which is what we agreed to, to 50 years. That’s a long — big difference. And…
KING: Told you that.
SILVER: Yes, told us that. And he Told us other things. He directed Mr. Dalton, Polanski’s lawyer, to say certain things during court. He directed the prosecutor, Mr. Guncin (ph), to say certain things the next day. Directed me to do things. This is unheard of.
KING: Inviting him to flee?
SILVER: I don’t know about that.
KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 50 years.
SILVER: Well, I don’t know about inviting him to flee. But he also said that he might consider reducing it if Polanski would self- deport himself. This a state court judge, he has no jurisdiction over immigration, naturalization matters. So this change of position by the judge excused Polanski. And there was an agreement. An agreement that was a good agreement. It addressed all of the interests of the parties and frankly I still think it ought to be enforce.
KING: What happens if he comes back now?
SILVER: Well, my view is that the district attorney ought to honor the agreements. Sure Samantha is different today, but there was a public interest at time in protecting her. I think the — I think that the agreement ought to be enforced. I think that in terms of fleeing, I think frankly, we all understand why that happened.
KING: Let’s take the other side though. You do this to a 13- year-old girl, you deserve more than 45 days.
SILVER: There is no question that Mr. Polanski could have been charged and was charged with more serious matters. But, frankly there was — you have to balance, it seems to me, the interests of any further harm. And it was 25 years ago. Probably the most celebrated case before O.J..
KING: Could authorities announce now we’ll abide by it, come home?
SILVER: I would hope that they would.
KING: And where does it stand now?
Does his lawyer have to file that motion?
SILVER: Well as far I understand, there’s been — Mr. Polanski has not indicated any interest in coming back and there is no activity.
KING: Was he sentenced in absentia?
KING: Never sentenced?
KING: Therefore guilty plea is where now?
SILVER: He has pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count. This is the unlawful sexual intercourse. There is a plea agreement that was approved by all the parties including the judge.
KING: So, where does it stand in the courts now?
SILVER: Well, it is waiting his return.
KING: What do you want to happen, Samantha?
GEIMER: I would like to see him be able to resolve it, his legal problems.
KING: You would like to see him come back to the United States?
SILVER: Come back or not, but just not be a fugitive, and you know, resolve his legal problems as they should have been.
KING: Do you agree Samantha’s article, judge the picture as the picture?
SILVER: Well, I think so. Frankly, the phone was quiet for years. When something happens to Polanski, her and my phone rings. It seems if you want to allow this victim to live her life and frankly not appear on LARRY KING LIVE or other places, that if we could get the matter resolved, people would pay attention to other things and not pay attention to this matter.
KING: Let’s include some phone calls. Bakersfield, California, the attorney is Lawrence Silver, and he’s been her attorney all along and Samantha Geimer.
CALLER: Yes, I would like to know why the U.S. never extradited this guy. I don’t understand. I don’t understand this.
KING: Well, Lawrence tried to explain.
They never extradited him why?
SILVER: There is no agreement by France to extradite in matters of unlawful sexual intercourse.
KING: So, it would have to be murder or something, right?
SILVER: It wasn’t.
KING: They’re pointing out, this — both parties here, Samantha and her attorney wanted him to only have time served, because they didn’t want her to face the horror of having to go to court and that kind of thing. So that was your wish.
CALLER: Hi, Samantha. I was wondering whatever happened to the pictures that Roman took of you and if you’ve ever seen them, and if not, if you’re curious to ever see them?
GEIMER: Yes, I’ve seen them. And we have them. You saw some of them earlier at the beginning…
KING: Those were pictures taken not that night. Where the pictures he took that day.
GEIMER: He keeps them.
KING: You keep them?
SILVER: Yes, I have them.
KING: Have you been offered money for these pictures?
SILVER: They’re not for sale.
KING: OK. Is that your conclusion too?
KING: I know Lawrence, he’s a lawyer.
New York City, hello.
CALLER: Hello, good evening. Larry, I just wanted to say, love your show. KING: Thank you.
CALLER: Samantha, I want to say it is very noble and generous of you to say that the film should be judged on its own merits. I’ve seen the film and I think it is a great picture. The cinematography and editing is amazing.
But my question for you is, how have you resolved your feelings about what happened for yourself and how do you feel about Roman Polanski as a man and what he did to you 25 years ago?
GEIMER: Well, I got over it a long time ago. I mean, it’s been a long time. And I wasn’t prepared to carry a lot of bad feelings with me and further damage my life and continue, you know, the — just the trauma of all of it. And today, I mean, I don’t know him. He’s a stranger to me. I’m not going to tell you he’s a nice guy or he’s not but…
KING: He wouldn’t recognize you.
GEIMER: Well, he probably would now.
KING: He’s probably watching.
SILVER: But, I have no hard feelings, no sympathy, I don’t know him. You know, I’m okay so…
KING: Didn’t you as an attorney on the other side here want some sort of pound of flesh in a sense?
SILVER: If I had to give up her pound of flesh to get his pound of flesh that wouldn’t have been a very good trade, I don’t think.
KING: Toronto, hello.
CALLER: Yes. I was wondering what — how a mother rationalizes sending a daughter off in a car with someone that may or may not like to have sex with young girls? She herself is an actress. He’s a director. It looked like maybe there was an agenda there.
How do you feel about that?
GEIMER: That’s just totally untrue. We trusted him. We had no reason not to. He was a celebrity. No one had any idea that anything like this would happen and there is no reason we would have thought that.
SILVER: I think also, Samantha’s mom thought that a girlfriend was going to go with them.
GEIMER: That’s true.
SILVER: And until later that evening, she really didn’t know.
KING: She thought a girlfriend went with her.
SILVER: That’s correct.
KING: How did he stop the girlfriend from going?
GEIMER: He said, No, I don’t think that’s a good idea outside by the car after my mom went inside.
KING: So, the girlfriend left.
GEIMER: The girlfriend left. My mom didn’t realize I was alone.
KING: Modesto, California, hello.
CALLER: Good evening, Larry. During the plea bargaining time had Roman Polanski ever expressed remorse for what he had done to Samantha and is he still arrestable or is the statute of limitations expired?
SILVER: He expressed remorse at hearing in which he pleaded guilty to the one count of unlawful sexual intercourse. And statute of limitations on anything else is long gone.
KING: We’ll be back with our — more moments with Samantha Geimer, her attorney Lawrence Silver and your phone calls. Don’t go away.
KING: Lawrence Silver, there is something I don’t understand. If the community sort of liked Roman Polanski at the time, if the mother was held in low regard, as was the daughter, why did — where was the judge getting the political pressure from to hang Polanski?
SILVER: Well, I think one of the things that happened the day before the sentencing when the whole thing blew up, frankly, was we were asked to come to chambers and as we were sitting down, the judge took a phone call from — and he identified it was — the secretary identified it was Bill Farr (ph) from “The L.A. Times.”
And there were his conversation with Farr (ph) said, no, no, I’m going to to do what I told you to do, you’re going to make your deadline. I’m going to tell them right now. And I think that there was some elements, if you will, that made the judge believe that having him serve time, that time served was not adequate.
There was — there was a reason, I think, in terms of Polanski could have been held up to 90 days. He only served for the psychiatric examination 42 or 43 days. But I think the judge wanted Polanski, for whatever reason, to be deported. He didn’t want him in the United States. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the power to do that. He was a state court judge. And so I think what he was going to do is to sentence him to 50 years, and then sometime later reduce the sentence if he agreed to voluntarily deport himself and never return to the United States.
KING: That was not the wide held public opinion at the time.
SILVER: No. The wide held public opinion was that something was wrong with Samantha and that something was wrong with her mother.
KING: So the judge had no pressures in that regard.
SILVER: Well, I don’t think so. For some reason he perceived that he was…
KING: What was his name?
SILVER: Judge Rittenband (ph).
KING: La Grange, Georgia. Hello.
CALLER: Samantha, I think what you’ve been through, you’ve grown to be a very nice lady with a soft heart.
GEIMER: Thank you.
CALLER: If he came back now and you’re grown, would you testify against him?
GEIMER: I would hope I wouldn’t have to. I’m not quite sure how that works.
KING: There is nothing he can be charged with.
SILVER: Right. All the charges — the only thing is the guilty plea to the unlawful sexual intercourse. There wouldn’t be a trial.
KING: So if he came back tonight in Los Angeles, what would happen to him? He’s at the airport. Would somebody grab him?
SILVER: I would think so.
KING: And for what? Bring him into the plea agreement? Or the judge never — the judge is dead and the judge never sentenced him. So he is a non-sentenced person.
SILVER: He is a non-sentenced person. There is a warrant out for his arrest for being a fugitive. And he is subject to being arrested and receiving the sentence that he would have or should have gotten 25 years ago.
KING: So the judge entered that somewhere into the record?
SILVER: No, no, no, no. The case — when the judge dies, the case has been assigned to a new judge. Right now it is sitting, I believe, with the presiding criminal court judge waiting to be reassigned.
KING: What did the judge say when Polanski fled?
SILVER: I wasn’t there. But the judge in an astounding thing held a press conference. I never heard of a judge holding a press conference. And he said he was glad that Polanski left. It was the result he wanted. He wanted him out of the country.
KING: San Diego, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
CALLER: I just wanted to ask a quick question of Samantha. Why didn’t your mother go along when you went to Jack Nicholson’s house with Roman Polanski as the responsible parent, since you were a minor? And also, does she have any regrets at this point in time feeling that she may have been able to prevent this whole incident from taking place?
KING: Good question. Your mother lives with you now?
GEIMER: My mother is — I mean, she gets the worst rap. Everybody wants to lay it all on her. And Polanski said he didn’t want her to go. He thought it would make me uncomfortable.
KING: But she could have said, I insist on it.
GEIMER: There didn’t seem to be any reason for her to go. I mean, he was just taking pictures, and nobody had any idea anything like this would ever happen. And I mean, she’s never gotten over it. She feels terrible.
KING: San Francisco, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
CALLER: I wanted to ask the attorney about Anjelica Huston’s testimony, and if she testified against Roman Polanski, and if so how significant that was?
SILVER: Anjelica Huston was not called as a witness, as far as I know.
KING: And there was no testimony, right? Or there could have been grand jury testimony.
SILVER: I don’t believe she was called before the grand jury.
KING: There was a grand jury indictment, right?
SILVER: I believe so, yes.
KING: Because your client testified — or you testified.
KING: What was that like for you?
GEIMER: That was also very scary. I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to talk to anybody or tell anyone.
KING: You were reluctant.
GEIMER: I mean, I just felt forced to continually tell this story. I was just so angry about it. It was like wasn’t what happened bad enough, now we’ve got to go through it every single day of my life.
KING: Tampa, Florida, hello.
CALLER: Yes, Larry, my question for Samantha and her lawyer is, do you feel enough is being done when it comes to laws protecting children from predators? And also, have you been approached by victims’ rights groups in order to maybe perhaps stand out and change some of these laws such as extradition?
GEIMER: No, I haven’t been approached by anybody in any ways like that.
KING: What do you think about the laws?
GEIMER: I think they’re much stronger now. I mean, I don’t know for sure, but it seems to me people pay a lot more attention to this kind of thing, and it certainly — everyone is much more aware that this happens.
KING: Date rape was not a term then.
GEIMER: This was unheard of, unspoken about. This was — no one ever talked about things like this.
KING: What about extradition laws?
SILVER: Well, that requires a treaty between France and the United States.
KING: Do you think the United States should press for a treaty that allows you to bring back someone who is, let’s say, charged with a sexual crime?
SILVER: Well, they have such a treaty with other countries. I’ve been told that France is not particularly interested in engaging in a treaty with the United States on these and some other crimes. A lot of countries, for example, will not extradite to the United States because we have capital punishment. Others will not — or they’ll extradite only if capital punishment is waived. I think that recently happened.
KING: Would you — should there be extradition? Should Roman Polanski have been extradited, if you could have waived the wand?
SILVER: Well, since I have a somewhat of an understanding, being in that room, when three experienced lawyers who know what a plea bargain is about, and we thought we could trust the judge, turns it around — I mean, I must tell you that what happened that day, both to Polanski and to some extent the American judicial system, I really think it was a shameful day. And I’m not that upset nor surprised that he left.
KING: We’ll be back with our remaining moments with Samantha Geimer and her attorney, Lawrence Silver. Don’t go away.
KING: We’ll get in a few more calls. To Prince George, British Columbia, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
I was just wondering, if Samantha had a daughter and it happened to her, what option would she take?
KING: She has a daughter.
GEIMER: No, I have three sons.
KING: Oh, three son. I’m sorry.
GEIMER: And, I mean, if the exact same thing happened?
GEIMER: I might consider not calling the police after everything the press and the police and the judge put me through.
KING: New Portland, Oregon, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hello.
Hi, Sam. I have two questions for you. One is how has this changed the direction of your life? I mean, this happened to you as a very young girl. So what did this create in your life and on to the present as a mother?
And the second question is have you received any remuneration for all this chaos that has created in your life?
GEIMER: Well, it changed the direction of my life because I wanted to be an actress and I just felt that was impossible after this occurred.
This would overshadow anything I ever did as far as, you know, the entertainment industry. Plus I got a distaste for the industry, getting a quick lesson on what a tough business it is.
And what was the second question? I’m sorry. KING: Getting money.
GEIMER: We — there was a civil suit but that’s confidential and I’m not allowed to talk about it.
KING: Oh, it was settled? So there was a settlement, right Lawrence?
SILVER: There was a settlement. This was long after the flight.
KING: To West Palm Beach, Florida, hello.
CALLER: Hello. My question is what were the results of Roman Polanski’s psychiatric examination?
KING: Good question. Lawrence?
SILVER: As far as I understand that the psychiatric examination was consistent with a plea of probation — or probation and no for the psychiatric supervision.
KING: Meaning he was…
SILVER: He was OK.
KING: Deemed OK?
SILVER: In terms of psychiatric issues, yes.
KING: You told me during the break the judge wanted to have Samantha psychiatrically examined?
SILVER: Yes, there was…
KING: For what reason?
SILVER: Well, there was a motion to have her examined by a psychiatrist and the judge was about to order it until I intervened to determine whether or not this was a fantasy to determine whether or not she was psychiatrically well balanced. And my view was, Come on, judge, this is a victim to a crime. You shouldn’t be ordering that she undergo psychiatric examination. And I don’t think you can do that.
And ultimately the judge decided not to do that. He was also going to release her name to the press and…
SILVER: I — yes, “The L.A. Times” wouldn’t publish it, most newspapers wouldn’t publish her name. But the judge was about to and then I…
KING: For what reason?
SILVER: I don’t know what the reason was. But he was about to do that and I reminded him of the law that — had Samantha been charged with a crime, as a juvenile, the court — the law would not allow the disclosure of her name. She’s a victim, your honor. Certainly you’re not going to treat a victim worse than you would somebody charged with a crime.
And I remember his eyes while I made that argument and he sort of shook his head and said, I’m not going to release the name.
KING: Maybe it’s because of the years, but neither of you feel particularly angry at Roman Polanski.
GEIMER: No. Not anymore. Not even then. I mean, it just…
GEIMER: Well, yes, I was angry because he was the cause of the publicity and the publicity was the worst thing that ever happened to me.
KING: But not angry that he had sex with you.
GEIMER: The publicity was so terrible, that — and so immediate that it just overshadowed everything that happened that night.
KING: What’s your mother’s feelings?
GEIMER: She’s, you know — he feels horrible and guilty and is traumatized and will probably never get over it, you know, ever.
KING: And you feel you understand the mother, right, Lawrence?
SILVER: I think so. I think so. She made a choice at the time. Roman Polanski was a highly respected actor as well as director. He was well regarded in this community, just lost his wife to a murder. There was no really reason at the time — at least that she was aware of, to suspect he might engage in inappropriate behavior.
KING: What does your husband do, Samantha?
GEIMER: He’s an operations manager at State. We both work at the same place.
KING: You both work together. And you children — one boy — we have a grown boy, right?
GEIMER: I have a 20-year-old, a 14-year-old and a 10-year-old.
KING: And every one — they’re happy?
GEIMER: Yes, we’re doing great. My kids are fine.
KING: Your mother lives right with you?
GEIMER: We all live in Hawaii and we all are very happy there and everything has gone OK.
KING: And your father passed on?
GEIMER: He passed on almost 10 years ago, I think.
KING: You think Roman is ever going to come back, Lawrence?
SILVER: I don’t know. It would be nice to end it all and to give Samantha sort of peace of mind. And it won’t happen until, I think, Polanski’s criminal matters are resolved. It would be in Samantha’s best interests, I think, if it would happen that way.
KING: Thank you, both, very much.
GEIMER: Thank you for having us.
KING: Samantha Geimer, Lawrence Silver. We’ll be back in a couple of minutes to tell you about tomorrow night’s show.
Don’t go away.
Samantha Jane Gailey trial testimony transcript
Samantha Jane Gailey, called as a witness before the Los Angeles Country Grand Jury was duly sworn as follows:
Foreman: Miss Gailey, would you raise your right hand, please. You do solemnly swear that the evidence you shall give in this matter now pending before the grand jury of the County of Los Angeles shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Foreman: Thank you. Please be seated. State your full name and speak directly into the microphone so everyone can hear you, please.
Samantha: Now? Samantha Jane Gailey.
Examination conducted by Mr. Robert Gunson.
Q: Samantha Gailey, how old are you?
Q: You reside with your mother and your sister at a residence in Woodland Hills?
Q: Would you please answer yes or no.
Q: On February 13, 1977, did you meet Mr. Roman Polanski at your residence?
Q: Looking at this exhibit No. 1, do you recognize the person depicted in that photograph?
A: Yeah, that’s Roman Polanski.
Q: Did Mr. Polanski at any time indicate to you that he wished to photograph you?
Q: And when was that?
A: On the 13th of February.
Q: What did he say to you that indicated to you he had an interest in photographing you?
A: He showed me a Vogue Magazine that he had done and he said, “Would you like me to take your pictures? And I went, Yes.”
Q: You answered “Yes”?
Q: Would you please answer yes or no.
Q: On February 20th did you go with Mr. Polanski to have him take pictures of you?
Q: Did you meet him in your residence on that day before leaving?
Q: And what happened?
A: He came in, picked out some clothes and we just went up in the hill.
Q: What clothes did he pick out?’
A: I was wearing a pair of blue jeans and he took a shite shirt and a patchwork blouse.
Q: Did you drive somewhere with Mr. Polanski?
A: Just about a block up to the end of our street.
Q: At any time did Mr. Polanski indicate to you the type of photographs that he wished to take of you?
Q: After getting out of the car, what did you do?
A: We climbed up to the top of the hill.
Q: What happened then?
A: We weren’t exactly at the top, but he took some pictures about halfway up. And then we just – we took more, another two rolls.
Q: What do you mean by “We took more”?
A: We too more. I posed for them.
Q: Did Mr. Polanski have a camera in his hand?
Q: Did you pose for him?
Q: Did you pose at his direction?
Q: What were the directions he gave you in the posing?
A: Things like, you know, “Sit this way”, and you know, “Put on this shirt and don’t smile,” you know.
Q: Did you change shirts?
Q: Where did you change?
A: On the hill.
Q: Was that in view of Mr. Polanski?
Q: What happened after you changed shirts?
A: We climbed up farther on the hill.
Q: What happened then?
A: We too some pictures by this tree.
Q: Approximately how many pictures did you taken then?
A: I think he changed his camera film before we went up farther, before we got to that tree.
Q: So you think he shot part of two rolls?
A: He shot two whole rolls.
Q: At any time did you pose without a top?
Q: At the time were you wearing a bra?
Q: So you were bare from the waist up?
Q: Was that at his request or did you volunteer to do that?
A: That was at his request.
Q: What did Mr. Polanski say with respect to posing without anything on your top?
A: He said, “Here, take off your top now”. And I thought they were for, you know, the shots that you got so you don’t have anything on your shoulders.
Q: So what did you do?
A: I took off my shirt. I was standing close to a tree, the same tree.
Q: When you returned home, did you tell your mother that he had taken photographs of you without a top?
Q: What was the reason that you did not tell your mother?
A: I wasn’t sure if I was going to or not. I was just going to say I don’t want to get any more pictures taken again.
Q: Whom were you going to tell that to?
A: My mom.
Q: Did Mr. Polanski return another day?
Q: Was that March 10th?
Q: Was that to have some more photographs taken of you?
Q: And that was by Mr. Polanski?
Q: Looking at exhibit No. 10 slides, do these appear to be some of the slides that Mr. Polanski took of you on the 20th of February?
A: Yes. This is not all of them though. This was full before.
Q: Have you seen that box before?
A: Yes. It didn’t have this on it though. It was a different box.
Q: When you say “this,” are you referring to a label identifying it?
A: Yeah, uh-huh. But this was full before when I saw them.
Q: So it had approximately 36 slides in it?
A: I guess, yes.
Q: Did you look at all 36 of them at one time?
Q: When was that?
A: That was in the car on the way to get my pictures taken again.
Q: Looking at exhibit No. 11 containing two proof sheets, one with three exposures, another with 35 exposures. Do those appear to be poses that you made for Mr. Polanski on the 20th of February on the hill behind your residence?
A: Yeah, these are the pictures.
Q: Have you seen those before today?
A: Yes, I saw slides of them.
Q: Have you ever seen the proof sheets before today?
Q: When Mr. Polanski came on the 10th of 1977 to your residence, what, if anything, did he say to you?
A: He was in a rush. He didn’t –
Q: What do you mean he was in a rush?
A: He went, “Let’s go. All the light is going to go down. Hurry up. Get your clothes.” And I was going to say to him, “Can my friend come along,” but I didn’t because he was rushing me.
Q: And so did you leave with Mr. Polanski?
Q: Did he indicate to you where he was going to go?
A: He said to his friend’s house.
Q: Did he say his friend’s name?
Q: Did he indicate to you whereabouts that friend lived?
A: Not to me.
Q: Did you go to some house?
Q: Do you know approximately where that house was?
A: I could find it. It was on the same road as Jack Nicholson’s house, just up farther.
Q: At any time did he indicate to you who lived at the residence?
A: I think he told me the person’s name when we got there. He introduced me to him. I don’t remember though.
Q: How many people were at that residence?
A: There were three guys and two girls.
Q: Did Mr. Polanski take pictures of you at that residence?
Q: What were you wearing at the time that these photographs were taken of you at the first residence?
A: A white blouse and a pair of jeans.
Q: Is that white blouse and pair of jeans something that you had worn on February the 20th?
Q: This was something different?
Q: When you went on March 10th, what other clothes did you take other than the white top and the jeans?
A: I took a T-shirt and a Rugby shirt and I think another white – yeah, another white shirt.
Q: When you left on March 10th, what were you wearing?
A: I was wearing my jeans and I don’t remember what top I had on.
Q: Were you wearing a bra?
Q: Were you wearing panties?
Q: Do you remember what color those were?
A: Kind of rust or copper.
Q: Looking at People’s exhibit 4 for identification, does this appear to be the panties that you were wearing?
A: Yeah, yes.
Q: Looking at exhibit No. 5, a dress, have you seen this dress before?
A: Yes, I was wearing it later on.
Q: Excuse me. Exhibit 3.
A: Yes, that’s the dress.
Q: Was this dress also taken from your residence on the 10th of March?
Q: Did Mr. Polanski select the clothes that you took?
Q: Was the dress one of the items that he selected to take?
Q: How long were you at this residence taking photographs?
A: We were there about an hour, I think.
Q: Was there a conversation between you and Mr. Polanski about going to another residence?
A: When the light got too dim he said, “I’m going to call up Jack Nicholson and see if we can go down to his house.”
Q: Did you see Mr. Polanski make a telephone call?
Q: Did you overhear Mr. Polanski talking on the telephone?
Q: Where were you when you overheard him speaking on the telephone?
A: I was standing about five feet away from him looking at some paintings.
Q: Was that in the same room?
Q: What did you hear Mr. Polanski say?
A: I wasn’t really listening, but he said something to the effect of, “Can I come down and take some pictures?” And then hung up and we left.
Q: Approximately how far did you drive?
A: We drove for about five minutes.
Q: Was this in Los Angeles County?
A: Yes, I think. I don’t know.
Q: Do you know approximately what area it was?
Q: Do you know the same of the street?
A: No. Oh, wait. Mulholland.
Q: Did you know the address?
Q: After being at the first residence, you drove to the second residence?
Q: Did Mr. Polanski say anything about the residence when he drove up?
A: Say anything about it?
A: No, just that this is Roman Polanski’s – I mean, this is Jack Nicholson’s house. And he pressed the button and someone goes, “Is this Roman?” And he went, “Yeah.” And the gate opened.
Q: When you said someone said, “Is this Roman,” did you see any persons around at that time?
A: No, it was through the intercom.
Q: When the gate opened up, what happened?
A: He drove in and we drove down to the house.
Q: Did you see any persons within the yard when you were driving to the house?
A: Yeah, a woman with black hair and she had two dogs.
Q: Do you know who that woman is?
Q: Did you see that woman at a later time?
A: She went in the house with us for about 15 minutes, but not after that.
Q: When Mr. Polanski parked the car, you got out of the car?
Q: And you entered the residence with Mr. Polanski?
Q: Where did you go inside the house?
A: We went to the sliding doors to go out to the patio. Like he was in the living room that he did his camera. He put on the lenses and stuff.
Q: Before doing that, did you have a conversation with Mr. Polanski about this woman that you met there?
A: No. They were talking. I was just sitting there looking around.
Q: Where did this conversation take place?
A: In the living room right by the patio doors.
Q: What was the conversation at that time?
A: They were talking about the last time he had stayed at Jack Nicholson’s house, and that she was fixing up a room for the next time he came to stay for a while.
Q: At any time did Mr. Polanski offer you something to drink?
A: Yes. I think I said I was thirsty. And he went in the kitchen and this refrigerator, it was full of juice and wine and soda and all this stuff. And he got out – he got a bottle of champagne. And he said, “Should I open it?” And I went, “I don’t care,” you know. And so he asked the woman if it was all right and she said it was.
Q: So did he open the bottle of champagne?
Q: Do you know what kind of champagne it was?
A: It was 1971 something.
Q: What happened after he opened the bottle of champagne?
A: He poured three glasses, one for each of us.
Q: Did Mr. Polanski drink his glass of wine?
Q: Excuse me, his champagne?
Q: Did the lady who was also present drink any champagne?
A: She drank about half of her glass.
Q: Did you drink any champagne?
Q: How much did you drink?
A: I don’t know. I had been finishing my glass and I was using it to pose in the pictures with. So I have no idea how much I drank.
Q: So after you had the drink of champagne, you went and took pictures?
Q: Whereabouts did you go to take pictures?
A: To the corner of the patio by the pool.
Q: Was this inside or outside?
Q: What were you wearing at the time that you arrived at the Nicholson residence?
A: The same blouse I wore for the pictures.
Q: Is that what you were wearing when you went out to the patio to take the pictures?
Q: You had not changed at that time?
Q: Did Mr. Polanski take pictures?
Q: At that time di you have a glass in your hand?
Q: Well, what type of poses did he request of you, if any?
A: He didn’t request any. I was just standing there.
Q: Did you see the lady that was there when you first arrived?
Q: Was she out watching Mr. Polanski take the pictures?
A: No, she had left. She left jast as he started taking pictures.
Q: Did you know where she went?
A: To work.
Q: How do you know that?
A: She said that she had to work, you know, and left.
Q: To your knowledge, were there any other persons at the Nicholson residence after she left?
Q: After taking pictures in the patio area, what happened?
A: We went inside and he started playing with his camera again. I think he changed lenses or something. And then we took some more pictures right inside the patio door.
Q: Was that wearing the same outfit that you had on when you arrived, the blue jeans and the blouse?
Q: Pardon me?
Q: Had you changed?
A: No. I didn’t have a shirt on. I was standing behind a lamp.
Q: Did you take your shirt off or did Mr. Polanski?
A: No, I did.
Q: Was that at his request or did you volunteer to do that?
A: That was at his request.
Q: Did you pose —
Q: — at that time?
Q: Did he direct you in any poses at that time?
Q: What did he ask you to do, if anything?
A: He was saying things like, “Hold the champagne glass this way. Look this way.”
Q: After taking those photographs, what happened?
A: He went to show me this Jacuzzi that Jack Nicholson has.
Q: Where is the Jacuzzi located?
A: Outside the bathroom door.
Q: Looking at Exhibit 12, does this appear to be the Jacuzzi that Mr. Polanski showed you at the Nicholson residence?
Q: What happened after he showed you the Jacuzzi?
A: He said, I” want to take some pictures of you in this.”
Q: In what?
A: In the Jacuzzi. He wanted to take some pictures of me in that.
Q: Did you have your top off at that time?
A: No, I had put it back on.
Q: Had you changed clothes?
A: Yes. I had changed into the blue dress.
Q: Where did you change into the blue dress?
A: I think in the living room.
Q: Where was Mr. Polanski when you changed into the blue dress?
A: I’m not sure. I think he walked in the other room to do something.
Q: So you went out to the Jacuzzi in your dress?
Q: Did you have any pictures taken of you at that time?
A: Right before we went out to see the Jacuzzi he had taken a few pictures in the kitchen.
Q: Was that with the dress on?
Q: So when you went out to the Jacuzzi you had on the blue dress?
Q: What happened out there after he indicated he wished to take pictures of you in the Jacuzzi?
A: We went inside and called my mother.
Q: When you say “we called,” did you call or did Mr. Polanski call?
A: He told me to and I talked and then he talked and then I talked again.
Q: What did you tell your mother?
A: She goes, “Are you all right?” I went, “Uh-huh”. And she says, “Do you want me to come pick you up?” And I went, “No.” And he said that we’d be home kind of late because it had already gotten dark out.
Q: When you said “he said,” did he tell you or did you hear him tell your mother on the phone?
A: He told my mother.
Q: Did he tell your mother any other things?
A: Not that I was listening to.
Q: After talking to your mother on the telephones, what happened?
A: He went out and I got in the Jacuzzi.
Q: So you went outside –
A: No, wait. We went into the bathroom before and he took this little yellow thing. I don’t know what it was. It was in some kind of container. And he had – he walked in before me. When I walked in he had the container. And he had a pill broken into three parts. And he said, “Is this a Quaalude?” And I went, “Yes.” And he says, Oh, do you think I will be able to drive if I take it?” And I went, “I don’t know,” you know. He says, “Well, should I take it?” I went, “I don’t know.” He goes, “Well, I guess I will,” and he took it. And he says, “Do you want part?” And I went, “No.” And he says – oh, at that time I went, “Okay,” because – I don’t know.
Q: Why did you take it?
A: I don’t know. I think I must have been pretty drunk or else I wouldn’t have.
Q: Before you took the part of the tablet, had you had more champagne than you have testified to?
A: I told you I don’t know how much because I was drinking some of his, too. I just kept – I just kept drinking it for pictures and, you know.
Q: The poses that you made were with the champagne glass in your hand?
Q: And was there champagne in the glass when your picture was taken?
Q: While the pictures were being taken, were you drinking champagne?
Q: Looking at exhibit No. 7, does that appear to be the item that Mr. Polanski produced a pill from?
Q: Would you please describe that again.
A: It was shaped like a rectangle. It was about one inch by maybe two inches. It was yellow and it was clear. And it looked like it was made especially for keeping something in, but I didn’t know that.
Q: What did you see Mr. Polanski do with that container?
A: I don’t know. He had it on the counter when I came in. And I think I turned around or something or walked away or something and I didn’t really notice what he did with it after that.
Q: Could you see whether it contained other tablets?
A: It was empty.
Q: When you saw it empty, was that before or after he showed you the tablet?
A: It was empty. All it had in it was the Quaalude, and he poured it out so it didn’t have anything else in it.
Q: When he asked you if it was a Quaalude you answered, “Yes”?
Q: Had you seen Quaaludes before then?
Q: On what occasion?
A: I have pictures of them and they’re on the shirts, and once I found one.
Q: How old were you then?
A: I was, I think, 11 or 10. I’m not sure.
Q: What did you do with them?
A: I broke it and I took part of it.
Q: Looking at exhibit No. 6 marked for identification is that similar to the tablet that Mr. Polanski produced?
Q: What did that say on it?
A: That one or the one Mr. Polanski had?
A: That one or the one Mr. Polanski had?
Q: The one Mr. Polanski –
A: It said Rorer 714.
A: Rorer 714.
Q: You knew that to be a Quaalude?
Q: Wat that one sold Quaalude tablet or not?
A: It was already broken. It looked like it was a whole one. Thick three pieces put to make the whole one.
Q: Did Mr. Polanski take part of one?
Q: What did he do with it?
A: He swallowed it with his champagne.
Q: Did you see what he did with the others?
Q: Did you take a Quaalude?
A: I took part of it.
Q: Where did you get this part?
A: He gave it to me.
Q: Where did he take this Quaalude from?
‘A: The yellow container.
Q: How much of the tablet did he give you?
A: It was a little less than half.
Q: How did you take that tablet?
A: I took it with a swallow of champagne.
Q: What happened after you took the tablet?
A: I went into the kitchen, and I don’t know why, but I thought if I ate – I realized I was drinking and then I took that. And I then really got upset at myself so I started eating.
Q: Where did you find that?
A: It was in the kitchen on a dish. He was changing film or something in another room.
Q: Looking at exhibit 9-B, the photographs, do those appear to be the poses that you made before Mr. Polanski and his camera when you had on the blue dress?
A: Yeah, these are the ones.
Q: After eating in the kitchen, what did you do?
A: He called my name and I went out and got in the Jacuzzi.
Q: When you got in the Jacuzzi, what were you wearing?
A: I was going to wear my underwear, but he said for me to take them off.
Q: When you came out of the house into the area of the pool, what were you wearing?
A: I had on my underwear.
Q: When you say your underwear, are you referring to panties marked exhibit No. 5?
Q: Excuse me, exhibit No. 4. Are these panties that you previously identified?
Q: What time did you take off your dress?
A: I took it off in the bathroom right before I went out to get in the Jacuzzi.
Q: Why did you take off your dress?
A: Because I didn’t want to get in the Jacuzzi in it. I just figured I will take it off to get in.
Q: Did you take off your panties?
Q: Did you get into the Jacuzzi with your panties on?
Q: Then you took them off at some time?
Q: When did you take them off?
A: I had gone outside. I was ready to get in and he said, “Take off your underwear.” So I did and then I got in.
Q: What happened when you got in the Jacuzzi?
A: He took some pictures.
Q: At that time did you have a glass in your hand?
Q: Was there champagne in the glass?
Q: Did you drink some of the champagne while you were in the Jacuzzi?
A: I don’t think so.
Q: Do you know approximately how many pictures Mr. Polanski took when you were in the Jacuzzi?
A: Not very many.
Q: Did he indicate to you how you should pose when he was taking these pictures?
Q: What did you do when you were in the Jacuzzi?
A: I was just standing there looking at him. He only took a few pictures. He said there wasn’t enough light.
Q: At some time did he stop taking photographs of you in the Jacuzzi?
Q: What did he do after that?
A: He said that he was going to get in.
Q: What did you see him do?
A: He went in the bathroom and he came out and got in.
Q: When he came out was he wearing anything?
Q: Before he went in was he wearing anything?
Q: What was he wearing?
A: His normal clothes.
Q: Do you remember what he was wearing?
A: A pair of tan pants and some kind of sweater.
Q: What did Mr. Polanski do when he got into the Jacuzzi?
A: He got in and he went down to the deepest part of it.
Q: What did you do?
A: I went up to the other end of it.
Q: What happened then?
A: He goes, “Come down here.” And I said, “no. No, I got to get out.” And he goes, “No, come down here.” And then I said that I had asthma and that I couldn’t – I had to get out because of the warm air and the cold air or something like that. And he said, “Just come down here a second.” So I finally went down. And then we went – there was a lot of the Jacuzzi jets. He goes, “Doesn’t it feel better down here?” And he was like holding me up because it is almost over my head. And I went, “Yeah, but I better get out.” So I got out.
Q: When you say that he was holding you, how was he holding you?
A: He had his hands on my sides like right around here and he was –
Q: Around your waist?
A: Yes. Then he started to move them around and I just got out.
Q: Did you have asthma?
Q: Have you ever had asthma?
Q: Why did you tell him you had asthma?
A: Because I wanted to get out.
Q: Did you get out of the Jacuzzi?
Q: What did you do when you got out of the Jacuzzi?
A: I got out and I put on a towel.
Q: Where did you get the towel?
A: It was laying outside.
Q: What did you do when you got the towel?
Q: What did you do when you got the towel?
A: I got the towel. I just picked it up and put it on. He went in the large pool then.
Q: Is there a pool in addition to the Jacuzzi as shown in exhibit No. 12?
Q: What happened then?
A: He goes – I walked over and he goes, “Get in here.” And I sent, “No, it’s okay. It’s too cold.” And he says, “No, it’s warm.” And I put my foot in and I went, “No, I don’t want to go in.” And he goes, “No, just get in.” So I dove in one end and just swam the whole way down through and just got out the other end.
Q: What did you do then?
A: I went into the bathroom and started drying off.
Q: Did you see Mr. Polanski then?
A: Yes, he came into the bathroom.
Q: What happened at that time?
A: He asked me if I was all right, if my asthma was bad.
Q: What did you say?
A: I said that I wanted to go home because I needed to take my medicine.
Q: What did Mr. Polanski say?
A: He said, “Yeah, I’ll take you home soon.”
Q: What did you do?
A: I told him – I said that I wanted to get – I wanted to go home.
Q: What did Mr. Polanski say?
A: He told me to go in the other room and lie down.
Q: When he said “in the other room,” was there an adjoining room to the bathroom?
A: No, it was at the end of the hall. He went outside the bathroom. It was right a few feet away.
Q: What kind of room is that?
A: I’m not sure. There’s no lights on in it. And it looked like a master bedroom. It had a bed and a couch and a TV.
Q: What did you do when he said, “Let’s go in the other room”?
A: I was going, “No, I think I better go home,” because I was afraid. So I just went and I sat down on the couch.
Q: What were you afraid of?
Q: And so you went in the other room and sat down on the couch?
Q: What were you wearing at that time?
A: My underwear and a towel?
Q: At some time had you put on your panties?
A: Yes, I did that right away when I got into the bathroom.
Q: What happened when you sat down on the couch?
A: He sat down beside me and asked me if I was okay.
Q: What did you say, if anything?
A: I said, “No.”
Q: What did he say?
A: He goes, Well, you’ll be better.” And I go, “No, I won’t. I have to go home.”
Q: What happened then?
A: He reached over and kissed me. And I was telling him, “No,” you know, “keep away.” But I was kind of afraid of him because there was no one else there.
Q: After he kissed you did he say anything?
Q: Did you say anything?
A: No, besides I was just going, “No. Come on, let’s go home.”
Q: What was said after you indicated that you wanted to go home when you were sitting on the couch?
A: He said, “I’ll take you home soon.”
Q: Then what happened?
A: And then he went down and started performing cuddliness.
Q: What does that mean?
A: It means he went down or me or he placed his mouth on my vagina.
Q: Where were you when he did that?
A: Was sitting on the couch.
Q: At any time did he say anything before he put his mouth on your vagina?
Q: What did he do when he placed his mouth on your vagina?
A: 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.
Q: And what did he say, if anything?
A: He wasn’t saying anything that I can remember. He was – sometimes he was saying stuff, but I was just blocking him out, you know.
Q: At this time what was your state of sobriety, if you know?
A: What’s that mean?
Q: Have you been drunk before?
Q: Was that from drinking alcohol?
Q: Have you ever been under the influence of Quaaludes?
A: No – oh, yeah, that once when I was real little.
Q: Have you ever been under the influence of Quaaludes and alcohol before March the 10th?
A: Before Marth 10th?
Q: Yes, of this year.
Q: When was that?
A: Not both at the same time.
A: Not both at the same time.
Q: At the same time before March 10th were you under the influence of Quaalude and alcohol?
Q: Did you feel that you were under the influence on this day, March 10th?
Q: And that’s when you were sitting on the couch?
Q: Why did you believe that you were under the influence at that time?
A: I can barely remember anything that happened.
Q: Is there any other reason?
A: No. I was kind of dizzy, you know, like things were kind of blurry sometimes. I was having trouble with my coordination like walking and stuff.
Q: How long did Mr. Polanski have his mouth on your vagina?
A: A few minutes.
Q: What happened after that?
A: He started to have intercourse with me.
Q: What do you mean by intercourse?
A: He placed his penis in my vagina.
Q: What did you say, if anything, before he did that?
A: I was mostly just on and off saying, “No, stop.” But I wasn’t fighting him because I, you know, there was no one else there and I had no place to go.
Q: What did he say, if anything?
A: He didn’t answer me when I said, ‘No.” I think he was – he was saying something, but I wasn’t listening to him and I can’t remember.
Q: At this time were your panties off?
Q: How were your panties taken off?
A: He had taken them off.
Q: When was that?
A: After he kissed me he got ahold of them and he pulled them off.
Q: At any time did he ask you when your period was?
Q: When was that?
A: While he was having intercourse with me.
Q: Did he ask you about being on the pill?
Q: When did he say that?
A: At the same time.
Q: What did he say?
A: He asked, he goes, “Are you on the pill?” And I went, “No.” And he goes, “When did you last have your period?” And I said, “I don’t know. A week or two. I’m not sure.”
Q: And what did he say?
A: He goes, “Come on. You have to remember.” And I told him I didn’t.
Q: Did he say anything after that?
A: Yes. He goes, “Would you want me to go in through your back?” And I went, “No.”
Q: Did he say anything else?
Q: How long did he have his penis in your vagina?
A: I can’t remember how long, but not a very long time.
Q: Had you had sexual intercourse with anyone before March 10th.
Q: Approximately how many times?
Q: How did you know that he had his penis in your vagina?
A: I could tell. I could feel it.
Q: What happened after he says, “Do you want me to – “ was it go through the back?
Q: What happened then?
A: I think he said something like right after I said I was not on the pill, right before he said, “Oh, I won’t come inside of you then.” And I just went – and he goes – and then he put me – wait. Then he lifted up my legs farther and he went in through my anus.
Q: When you say he went in your anus, what do you mean by that?
A: He put his penis in my butt.
Q: Did he say anything at that time?
Q: Did you resist at that time?
A: A little bit, but not really because – (pause)
Q: Because what?
A: Because I was afraid of him.
Q: At any time did you become aware that there was another person or persons in the residence?
A: Yes. Right after that a woman knocked on the door and she goes, “Roman, are you in there?” And he went, “Yes. I just got out of the Jacuzzi and I’m getting dressed.”
Q: And that time what was happening?
A: He had walked up to the door and kind of opened it up a crack and talked to her. And I got up and put on my underwear and started walking towards the door.
Q: What happened then?
A: He sat me back down again.
Q: What happened then?
A: Then he started to have intercourse with me again and then he just stopped.
Q: Do you known what a climax is?
Q: Do you known whether he had a climax?
Q: And how do you know that?
A: Because I could kind of feel it and it was in my underwear. It was in my underwear. It was on my butt and stuff.
Q: When you say that, you believe that he climaxed in your anus?
Q: What does climax mean?
A: That his semen came out.
Q: Do you know what semen is?
Q: Did you see some semen or feel some semen?
A: I felt it.
Q: Where did you feel it?
A: I felt it on the back of my behind and in my underwear when I put them on.
Q: When you were in the room and you heard the knock on the door, did you say anything at that time?
A: No. I just got up and got my underwear on.
Q: Why didn’t you say something at that time?
A: I was still pretty much afraid of him. I didn’t – even though there was someone else there. I didn’t know what to say. I had gotten up. I thought that I could just leave then and go home and say something, you know, because he was the only way I had to get home.
Q: At what point did you put on your panties after he had placed his penis in your anus?
A: That I put them back on?
A: As soon as he got up to answer the door.
Q: Then at that time what else did you do?
A: I just got up and started walking towards the door.
Q: Is that when he took you again?
Q: And what happened to the panties at that time?
A: Took them back off.
Q: Did you put them back on after he had sexual intercourse with you for the second time?
Q: When he let you up, what did you do?
A: I walked into the bathroom and I put on my dress, combed my hair and I walked – I sort of was walking out and he said, “now, wait for me,” but I didn’t. I went out. I got my clothes and there was – that woman as sitting there on the phone. And I said hello to her and I just went out and sat in the car.
Q: Looking at exhibit No. 2, a black and white photograph of a female, have you seen the person depicted in exhibit 2 before today?
A: That was the woman that was there.
Q: That is the woman that was on the phone when you walked out to leave?
Q: What did you say to her?
A: She just – I was – there’s a divider kind of in the living room. And she heard me make a noise and she goes, “Hello.” And I stuck my head around there and I said, “Hi.” And she said, “Are you the girl Roman is taking pictures of? And I said, “Yes,” and I just walked out to the car.
Q: When you said you were making noised, what type of noises were you making, if any?
A: Just picking up my clothes and putting on my shoes and things.
Q: When you walked through that room, did you walk outside?
A: I walked – I didn’t have to go outside to get into that room. I didn’t go outside until I went to get in the car.
Q: Was Mr. Polanski with you when you went to get in the car?
Q: Did you get n the car when Mr. Polanski was not around.
Q: What happened then?
A: I was sitting in the car and I was crying. And at about five minutes later he came out and he goes, “Well, I’ll be out in a couple of minutes. I want to talk to this woman.” And I went, “Oh, okay.”
Q: Did he indicate to you her name?
Q: Did he come out in a couple of minutes?
A: Yes, in about 10, I think.
Q: What did you do?
A: I just sat there. And he got in the car and we went home.
Q: Driving home did he say anything to you?
A: He said something like – I can’t remember when [transcript ends]
Sources: Substantial content from now defunct Crime Library, CNN, Anorak UK, Wikipedia, LA Times, Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian, The Nation, Independent UK, Salon, NBC News, ABC News
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