Back to IndieWire

Roman Polanski Accused of Molesting a 10-Year-Old Girl

The alleged incident is said to have taken place in 1975.

Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski


Roman Polanski has been accused of molesting a woman when she was 10 years old. Marianne Barnard first came forward with her story on Twitter as the Harvey Weinstein scandal unfolded, and now the California-based artist has elaborated on her claims to the Sun: “#RomanPolanski took photos of me naked & in fur coat on beach in Malibu, I was 10 yrs old. He went on from there. This ends now #ROSEARMY,” she wrote.

Barnard says her mother took her to meet Polanski in 1975. “There was a group of rocks there and he took the photographs of me on those rocks,” she recalls. “At first I had the understanding I was just going to the beach with my mom. We were there for a little while by ourselves and then he was there. And she explained that this man wanted to take pictures of me in this fur coat. I thought it was to go into a magazine or something.”

Polanski pled guilty to statutory rape in 1977 and, after serving 42 days behind bars, was ready to accept a plea bargain that would have freed him from prison. He was then alerted that the judge in his case didn’t plan to accept the agreement, and fled the country. He has not returned the United States since.

“First he was taking pictures of me in the bikini, then it was with the coat then he said take off the bikini top, which I was comfortable with as I was only 10 and I often ran around with no top on,” Barnard continues.

“But then he wanted me to take my bikini bottoms off — I started to feel very uncomfortable. Then at some point I realized my mom had gone. I don’t know where she went and I didn’t really register her leaving but she was no longer there. Then he molested me.”

Barnard decided to come forward with her story after seeing other women speak out about their experiences with Harvey Weinstein.  “I felt terribly conflicted that I have been silent all this time and all these women are bravely coming forward and I thought to myself I can’t in good conscious knowing what I know — and having gone through what I’ve gone through — not speak out.” Read her full account here.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox