Samantha Geimer, aged 13
The woman sexually assaulted by Roman Polanski when she was just 13 has described how the filmmaker plied her with champagne and drugs before having sex with her.
Samantha Geimer, now 50, describes the assault in Jack Nicholson's Hollywood home in her memoir published in Australia today.
She says she wrote The Girl: A Life Lived in the Shadow of Roman Polanski to "take back ownership of my own story".
Polanski was initially charged with six felony counts, including rape and sodomy, before he accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor. He served 42 days at a secure unit undergoing psychiatric evaluation after the attack on March 10, 1977.
Geimer writes how, part drunk, drugged and overwhelmed by the star power of the director, she didn't try to fight him off.
"Why fight?" she writes. "I'll do pretty much anything to get this over with.
“He holds my arms at my sides and kisses me. And I say, 'No, come on' but between the pill and the champagne it's like my own voice is very far away.”
She describes her fear and her tears later in the car as Polanski, now 80, drove her home and asked her if she was OK and told her not to tell her mother.
But Geimer pressed charges, becoming the focus of a media and police storm, which prompted her to wish she had kept quiet.
"Somehow, what had happened – as bad as it was – was not going to be as bad as what was coming," she writes. "I ran into the two-headed monster of the California criminal justice system and its corrupt players, whose lust for publicity overwhelmed their concern with justice.
"My crime? Being the rape victim of a Hollywood celebrity."
After his time in the psychiatric wing of California's Chino State Prison, Polanski fled the United States on the eve of his sentencing, amid fears the trial judge would go back on the plea bargain deal.
In 2009, he was re-arrested in Switzerland as the US sought extradition but was later released.
This week Geimer told the Los Angeles Times how the notorious case had dogged her for 36 years.
“I'm personally tired of everybody telling lies about me and about what happened,” she said. “It's interesting to be able to do it on my own terms. My whole life has been reacting to what's happening to me. This is a different thing for me, to just be trying to tell the story.”
Geimer has also revealed to Britain's The Times that she is in email contact with Polanski, who now lives in France.
"People are still coming after both of us,” she said. “We're both still being treated unfairly ... It makes sense to be on the same team ... We've both been punished. We both want to move on. We both might be considered victims.”
Read Samantha Geimer's story in Saturday's Good Weekend.
- With AFP