Friday, May 14, 2010

New Polanski Rape Victim Comes Forward … why did she take so long?

Charlotte Lewis, image from

Confessed rapist Roman Polanski’s dear friends are partying it up in Cannes and distributing a petition calling for his release. That’s what friends are for, you know.

American actor Michael Douglas did not join in the happy group. Douglas stuck to his principles and made a statement during a French radio interview, saying it would be unfair to sign a petition for someone who confessed to the crime of unlawful sexual intercourse back in 1978.
A few hours after the interview aired, British actress Charlotte Lewis, accompanied by Gloria Allred, announced at a Los Angeles news conference that she’d also been raped by Polanski when she was 16 years of age, back in 1982, a mere five years after the Los Angeles rape.
Recall that Polanski also continued his statutory rape ways when had an affair with then-15 year old Nastassja Kinski, his leading actress in “Tess,” a film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d'Urbervilles. The film, which was released in 1979, was made upon the suggestion of Polanski’s murdered wife, Sharon Tate, who had suggested Polanski adopt the novel for film.
Because Polanski was a fugitive from justice in the United States, “Tess” was filmed in France. The legal age for sexual consent is 15, and there were no legal consequences for the affair with the teenaged German-born Kinski.
Lewis claimed that Polanski forced himself upon her at an apartment in Paris while she was working on his film, “Pirates,” which was released in 1986.

Polanski is pretty bold with the ladies when in France, isn’t he?

Lewis never reported the incident, and it is unclear why she has done so now. She and Allred spoke to Los Angeles County prosecutors on Thursday. It is speculated that Lewis’ statement could be used as a prior bad acts statement, a propensity to rape.

I am always torn when Gloria Allred insinuates herself into cases such as this. She is turning into the attorney for wronged girlfriends/wives or “the other” woman. On the other hand, Charlotte Lewis is certainly opening her life for plenty of public scrutiny as far as her private life is concerned.

Do I believe it happened? You bet. I bet she’s not the only one, either. Amazing how being cast in a movie will buy silence for a few decades. According to IMDB, Lewis hasn’t worked in film or television since 2003, though she did give birth to a son in 2004.

Earlier this month Polanski released a written statement suggesting his arrest in Switzerland was “based on a lie.”

The statement included the following passage: “
I ask only to be treated fairly like anyone else.”

Fair meaning drop it? Man up, Polanski. Even if the Los Angeles authorities choose to say you are even-steven on the rape charge, and those 45 days were plenty, you are a fugitive from U.S. justice. You enjoy taking our U.S. dollars when you release a film here. Our dollars are fine, but our justice is not?

And to those psychiatrists back in 1977 who deigned that Polanski was unlikely to reoffend and have sexual relations with a teenager, looks like you all were wrong.


Deep Sounding said...

Well, it's interesting timing on this article. I just read this this morning, and as it happens I had a minor personal revelation last night while I was thinking about why it is that the fallout from childhood sexual abuse takes so long to really start to manifest itself. (Usually we're in our mid 30's to 40's when it starts to hit us.)

I'm pretty close to the same age as Charlotte, and she had a kid in 2004. (Similar story here.) I just realized that as my kid has become a bit more independent, and is doing sports and school activities that puts my kid in contact with other adults, (often in positions that have higher rates of offence) it really sets off my alarm bells.

As time goes on and we become adults, we think "It probably only happened to me, my life will be destroyed it I speak out, etc, etc..." but then, when we start to realize that the threat is real from others, we begin to realize that we should have spoken up earlier. It's a tragic guilt-loop, but I think the stress of having a child who will be possibly facing dangerous situations pushes us over the fence, and everything comes out.

I hope she's able to cope well with the doubters and pedophile advocates, who will undoubtedly be attacking her in force now.

Sprocket said...

Excellent report CaliGirl9. I also wonder why Lewis decided to come forward now.

Maybe there are a few in the entertainment industry who are willing to stand against Polanski and his insistence of non-acountability. Way to go Douglas.

Anonymous said...

I think I understand completely why someone would wait to come forward.

There are two issues, of course, contained in the revelations by Charlotte since forced sex is rape at any age. The pattern of trying to have even legal, consensual sex with teenagers is part of a pattern with Polanski which appears to be based upon power more than sex.

That imbalance of power is often more difficult for young girls to appreciate until they have experienced healthy, and more balanced relationships as adult women. Motherhood further changes many of us and makes us see how very precious and vulnerable young girls are before they are mature enough to question the motivations of those older men who pursue younger girls partially for purposes of greater domination and control.

Those power motives can very easily lead to rape, since these are not men who place high value on ability of their victims to provide mature, autonomous consent.

katfish said...

Hey CaliGirl9, Glad to see ya! ;)

I think the 3 labels you put on this article pretty much says it all....child rape, fugitive from justice, Roman Polanski.

Kudos to Michael Douglas for standing his ground.

Thanks for the report!

ritanita said...

CaliGirl! Thank you for writing this. There is no way I can be as eloquent as Deep Sounding and Anonymous above. All I can do is agree with them and you.

I am glad to see Michael Douglas speak up on this as well. If more people "in the business" would do so, the proverbial casting couch and all that it implies about men in positions of power over vulnerable young women might be a thing of history.

Anonymous said...

Woody Allen has made a statement in support of Polanski. It is on the order of "He's suffered enough."

David From TN

Nora said...

Notice all the men who are backing Polanski - predators united, eh?