Roman Polanski’s Wife Interviews His Rape Victim, Who Says: ‘I Was Fine. I’m Still Fine.’
Samantha Geimer is once again defending Roman Polanski, who raped her in 1977 when she was 13 years old. Geimer has often spoken out in support of Polanski, although this time she did it in an interview with France’s Le Point magazine that was conducted by none other than Polanski’s wife, the actor Emmanuelle Seigner.
Polanski was arrested in 1977 for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He accepted a plea bargain and only served 42 days in prison. He fled the United States in 1978 while still under probation after his legal team got word that he was going to face imprisonment on additional charges. He was detained by Swiss police decades later in 2009 while traveling to the Zurich Film Festival in an attempt by the United States to extradite him. The Swiss court ultimately rejected the request and released Polanski.
“Let me be very clear: what happened with Polanski was never a big problem for me,” Geimer told Seigner (via a translation by IndieWire). “I didn’t even know it was illegal, that someone could be arrested for it. I was fine, I’m still fine. 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.”
“The extradition attempt, the fact that Roman was arrested like that, it was so unfair and so in opposition to justice,” Geimer also said in the Le Pointe interview. “Everyone should know by now that Roman has served his sentence. Which was… long, if you want my opinion. 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. He did everything that was asked of him until the situation went berserk he had no other choice but to flee. 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.”
Geimer acknowledged in a 2018 interview with IndieWire that her encounter with Polasnki was “rape,” but she maintained at the time that Polanski had taken responsibility for his actions.
“He wrote me a handwritten letter and said, ‘I’m sorry, it was my fault, not your mom’s fault, and I’m sorry for what you went through.’ I was like, ‘Well, I knew that,’” Geimer said at the time. “I felt like he was sorry the minute he got arrested. My whole life, I assumed, of course he’s sorry. I didn’t feel like I needed that. But then when he sent that apology, I could tell it made a big difference to my mom, and my husband, some of my friends, and my kids. It gave my mom some kind of relief. It was really meaningful to the other people around me who care about me, which then made it really meaningful to me. Anything that can make my mom feel better is something I’m grateful for.”
As Variety reported earlier this year, Polanski has a new movie, “The Palace,” waiting for release. The director won the the Grand Jury Prize at the 2019 Venice Film Festival with “An Officer and a Spy,” but that film reignited attention in the press around his 1977 rape conviction and left a majority of the French film industry cold on the director. No French financier, producer or broadcaster touched “The Palace,” for instance (the project was backed by Italy’s RAI Cinema), and the film was not included in the Cannes 2023 lineup despite being considered.