Earlier this week, Roman Polanski’s heavy-hitting lawyer Harland Braun made a move to put a close to the horrific child rape case that unfolded in 1977, leading to the French-Polish filmmaker’s controversial plea deal and his fleeing the country.
Per TMZ, Braun “has asked an L.A. County Superior Court judge to unseal a long-secret transcript of the testimony of the prosecutor in the Polanski case. Braun believes the secret testimony supports Polanski’s claim that he cut a deal to serve only 48 days behind bars for raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977, and the judge signed off. Polanski actually spent 42 days in Chino State Prison and was released. But Judge Laurence Rittenband allegedly reneged on the deal and told prosecutors he decided Polanski should spend up to 50 years in prison.”
Polanski then famously left the country and has not returned to the U.S. in nearly four decades, living mostly in France and spending nearly a year in Swiss custody after authorities attempted to extradite him back to the states in 2009. A Polish court then ruled that “Polanski has served his time under the plea deal, and now Braun wants the L.A. judge to honor that ruling.” Polanski is reportedly eager to return to Los Angeles to finally resolve the case, thus ending his time as a fugitive.
In a new video interview posted on TMZ, Polanski’s victim, Samantha Geimer, sounds off on the latest twist in the case, stumping first for prosecutor Roger Gunson, whose testimony is included in the sealed transcript, saying that “he was kind of my hero when this happened.”
Geimer, who has been vocal over the years (including in her 2013 autobiography, “The Girl”) that she believes that Polanski should not serve additional jail time and that she is hopeful that the case can finally be put to rest, then adds, “I’m all for the truth getting out. He’s apologized, I forgive him. I know that he’s sorry and he didn’t mean to hurt me. He’s admitted what he did. He went to jail.”
Geimer, was just thirteen when the filmmaker drugged and raped her doing a photo shoot held at Jack Nicholson’s house. In March of 1977, Polanski was arrested and charged with five offenses against Geimer, including rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor. Polanski pleaded not guilty, though he later took a plea bargain that dismissed all five charges for the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse.
After a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation and only 42 days in prison, Polanski fled the country hours before his official sentencing. The filmmaker had learned that he would likely face additional prison time and/or deportation. Braun and Polanski reportedly hope that by unsealing the transcript, they will be able to prove that Polanski and the judge agreed to a plea deal that packed only a 48-day sentence for his crimes.
Geimer added at the end of the short video, “I’m not going to carry a bunch of resentment. Much worse things have happened to people. I’m aware of that. Bad things happen.” You can watch the full video here.