Polanski victim calls to dismiss case
The victim in the Roman Polanski child sex case has renewed calls for the case against the director to be dismissed and urged the media to leave her alone, court filings showed Monday.
Lawyers for Samantha Geimer made the request in a court motion filed in Los Angeles on Friday, the latest of several pleas she has made for authorities to throw out the 1977 criminal case against Polanski.
The motion said Geimer, who now lives in Hawaii with her husband and children, has suffered health problems and job worries after a media “frenzy” following Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland last month.
It cited calls by CNN’s Larry King, US talkshow queen Oprah Winfrey, “every” national network morning show, three Los Angeles Times reporters and “nearly every major newspaper” from the United States and around the world.
“Between Samantha and her counsel, they have received close to 500 telephone calls from media around the world seeking a comment,” the motion filed with California’s Second District Court of Appeal read.
“The response—‘please leave me alone.’ But they won’t leave her alone.”
“Calls at all hours, invade her at home, on her cell phone and at her place of employment ... The victim is again the victim,” the filing said.
“The pursuit has caused her to have health-related issues. The pursuit has caused her performance at her job to be interfered with,” it read, noting Geimer risked “the real possibility” of losing her job as a result.
Geimer was a starry-eyed 13-year-old when Polanski plied her with champagne and drugs at the Hollywood Hills home of his actor friend Jack Nicholson during a photo shoot more than 30 years ago.
The director was initially charged with six felony counts, including rape and sodomy. The charge was later reduced to unlawful sexual intercourse after a plea deal agreed in part to spare Geimer the ordeal of a trial.
Polanski later served 42 days at a secure unit undergoing psychiatric evaluation but fled the country on the eve of his sentencing in 1978.
His lawyers have argued that the judge who presided over his case held improper discussions with Los Angeles prosecutors and was planning to go back on a sentencing deal agreed with the filmmaker’s legal team.
Geimer’s lawyer Lawrence Silver argued in the motion that Polanski had been forced to flee by a “corrupt” judge.
“No matter what his crime, Polanski was entitled to be treated fairly; he was not,” the motion said. “The day Polanski fled was a sad day for American justice. Samantha should not be made to pay the price.”
Yet Geimer suffered the consequences of a “failed judicial and prosecutorial system”, the filing added.
“Everyone insists that she owes them a story but her story continues to be sad ... This statement makes one more demand, one more request, one more plea: leave her alone.”
The Academy Award-winning director reportedly agreed to pay Geimer $500 000 as part of a 1993 civil settlement stemming from the case, but it remains unknown whether he ever paid the funds promised to his victim.
The United States last Friday formally asked Switzerland to extradite Polanski, who has been held in custody since his arrest in Zurich on September 26 as he arrived for a film festival.
Lawyers for the 76-year-old director of movie classics Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown have vowed to fight the extradition, a process which analysts say could take months. - AFP