'Chinatown' director Roman Polanski pleaded guilty to rape for unlawful sex with a minor, but fled the US for France and has remained a fugitive
Controversial director Roman Polanski reunited with Samantha Geimer, the woman he pled guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor more than 40 years ago.
Geimer was 13 years old at the time Polanski – who was in his 40s – was arrested and charged with rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, providing controlled substances to a minor, and lewd and lascivious acts upon a child under 14.
Following his guilty plea in 1977, Polanski fled the country and became a fugitive, first finding refuge in London and then settling in France.
While Polanski has never stepped foot on U.S. soil or any country that would extradite him to the United States, he has still created films and won the Academy Award for best director in 2002 for "The Pianist."
In the Instagram photo shared from Geimer's private account to Polanski's wife Emmanuelle Seigner's profile, both Roman and Samantha smiled for the camera.
"Thank you Samantha," Emmanuelle captioned the shot with a few heart emojis.
She added David Geimer for the photo credit and tagged the magazine that published a recent chat between Geimer and Seigner.
"Let me be very clear: what happened with Polanski was never a big problem for me," Geimer told Seigner in the French publication per IndieWire. "I didn’t even know it was illegal, that someone could be arrested for it. I was fine, I’m still fine."
She added, "The fact that we’ve made this [a big deal] weighs on me terribly. To have to constantly repeat that it wasn’t a big deal, it’s a terrible burden."
"Everyone should know by now that Roman has served his sentence. From my side, nobody wanted him to go to jail, but he did and it was enough. He paid his debt to society. There, end of story."
"Anyone who thinks that he deserves to be in prison is wrong. It isn’t the case today, and it wasn’t the case yesterday."
In August 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor as part of a plea bargain dismissing five other charges. Geimer had testified that Polanski gave her champagne and a sedative during a photoshoot and proceeded to have sex with her despite her objections.
The sexual assault happened at Jack Nicholson's mansion. He was not home when the encounter occurred.
Forty years later, Geimer appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom pleading for a judge to officially dismiss the case so that her family could move on. The judge denied the request months later.
A California appeals court in July ordered the unsealing of a conditional deposition transcript from former prosecutor Roger Gunson to be opened in the criminal case against director Polanski. Gunson retired in 2002.
"This case has been described by the courts as ‘one of the longest-running sagas in California criminal justice history,’" Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said in a press release. "For years, this office has fought the release of information that the victim and public have a right to know."
In 2018, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to kick Polanski out and subsequently defended its decision by saying he was given a fair opportunity to challenge the Academy's ruling.
Polanski sued the Academy the following year on the grounds that the group had failed to follow its own procedures when it voted to kick him out. He was expelled alongside Bill Cosby for violating the organization’s standards of conduct.
In its response, the Academy said the board considered voluminous materials submitted by Polanski on appeal, including more than 400 pages of exhibits and a detailed memo from his attorney. Polanski also recorded a videotaped statement directly addressing the board of governors.