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Roman Polanski Accused of Raping French Actress When She Was 18

As the filmmaker prepares to release "J'Accuse" ("An Officer and a Spy") in France, Valentine Monnier accuses Polanski of raping her in 1975.

Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski

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In a report published Friday by French daily newspaper Le Parisien, French actress Valentine Monnier accused director Roman Polanski of raping her at Polanksi’s ski chalet in Switzerland in 1975 when she was 18.

Monnier told Le Parisien that the director violently raped her. The newspaper reported that it spoke with several people, who said Monnier told them of the incident shortly after it occurred.

“Rape is a time bomb,” she told the publication. “The memory does not fade. It becomes a ghost and it follows you, and it changes you insidiously.”

IndieWire has reached out to Polanski’s U.S. lawyers for comment.

Monnier said she was moved to speak some four decades after the incident due to the release of Polanski’s latest film, “J’Accuse” (“An Officer and a Spy”), due out in France next week.

The movie won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize and earned mostly positive reviews at its Venice Film Festival premiere, but the film hasn’t attracted a US distributor, a sign of the growing pressure around those accused of sexual misconduct during the Me Too era.

Monnier told Le Parisien that after dinner during the ski trip, Polanski called her upstairs. When she got upstairs, she said Polanski was naked. He attacked her and ripped off her clothes before raping her, she alleged.

Polanski’s French attorney, Hervé Témime, strongly denied the allegations to the paper.

Polanski’s “The Pianist” won three Oscars in 2002, well into the director’s time living in exile in France. He fled the US in 1978 as he was facing a charge of raping a 13-year-old girl. Though he pled guilty, Polanski left before he could be sentenced. Efforts to resolve the Los Angeles case have been unsuccessful as Polanski has refused to return stateside.

His victim, Samantha Geimer, said she has forgiven Polanski and accepted a private apology. Polanski was expelled from the Motion Picture Academy in 2018.

Sony Pictures Classics released his last feature in 2017, “Based On A True Story,” which grossed about $4 million in international territories; it did not receive a domestic theatrical release.

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