The #MeToo movement, which spread in Hollywood like wildfire, encouraged many sexual abuse victims to speak up about their horrific ordeals of harassment. While many bigwigs came under fire when allegations were levelled against them, one of them was Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski. It was back in 2010, even before #MeToo took off, that British actor Charlotte Lewis accused him of “sexually abusing” her in 1983 when she was 16. While nothing happened at the time, another woman, who identified as Robin, accused him in August 2017 of sexual assault when she was 16 in 1973. Now, in other news, a French woman has accused Polanski of the same.
She accused Polanski of raping her in a Swiss ski resort when she was a teenager. This is the latest accusation against the Polish-born director who fled from the US to France in 1978 after admitting the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl. The 86-year-old has been a fugitive ever since from the US justice system, despite repeated attempts to have him extradited. His new film on the persecution of French Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus, J’accuse, premieres next week, reported The Guardian.
Valentine Monnier told Le Parisien newspaper that the alleged rape occurred in 1975, when she was 18, at Polanski’s chalet in Gstaad. “I had no links with him, neither personal nor professional, and hardly knew him,” Monnier, a former model who worked in New York, said. She said the alleged rape was “extremely violent”, adding, “He pummelled me until I gave in and then raped me, making me do all sorts of things.” Monnier, who acted in a few films in the 1980s, said she had finally decided to speak out as Polanski’s new film about an error of justice was due to come out. Following the Harvey Weinstein scandal in 2017, Monnier said, she had written letters about the alleged rape to the Los Angeles police and to the French first lady, Brigitte Macron. Polanski’s lawyer, Hervé Temime, said the director “firmly denies all accusations of rape”, adding that the allegations “which date back 45 years have never been reported to judicial authorities”.