Roman Polanski Sued In Lawsuit Alleging Director Raped Minor in 1970s

Embattled director Roman Polanski has been sued in a lawsuit accusing him of drugging and raping a minor in 1973.

The filing of the complaint comes as a trial in France kicks off over allegations that he defamed British actress Charlotte Lewis, who he accused of disseminating a “heinous lie” after she claimed that he sexually assaulted her in the 1980s. Polanski has been a fugitive from prosecution in the United States since the 1970s.

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The lawsuit was filed by an unidentified plaintiff last year in Los Angeles Superior Court, but it was not allowed to disclose Polanski as the defendant. Gloria Allred, who represents the woman, said that the court recently permitted her to file an amended complaint naming Polanski.

According to the lawsuit, Polanski invited the woman to dinner after meeting her at a party when she was a teenager. At his house in Benedict Canyon, he allegedly gave the plaintiff alcohol before going to dinner, where she was given more alcohol.

After returning to his house, the woman allegedly fell asleep on his bed and awoke with him lying next to her.

“He told her he wanted to have sex with her,” Allred said. “Plaintiff, although groggy, alleges she told defendant no. She told him ‘Please don’t do this’ She alleges he ignored her pleas” and proceeded to sexually assault her.

The complaint brings claims for rape, sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It was brought under an amendment passed in 2020 to California’s statute of limitations for certain sex crimes, giving victims of childhood sexual assault more time to sue.

Allred, who also represented a woman in a sexual assault lawsuit against Bill Cosby, said that Polanski was served the lawsuit in France, where he currently resides, and plans to depose the director. The rape was not reported to law enforcement at the time of the incident, she said.

In 1977, Polanski was arrested for raping Samanta Geimer, then 13-years-old. He accepted a plea agreement to dismiss five of the more serious charges against him, including rape by use of drugs, in exchange for pleading guilty to engaging in unlawful sex with a minor. His lawyers expected him not to serve any time in prison and get probation. The disgraced director fled to France after he learned that the judge who initially handled the case in the 1970s and died in 1993 intended to go back on the deal in favor of putting him behind bars for up to 50 years, according to court documents. He has argued that the judge was unduly influenced by a prosecutor and that the decades-old case against him should be dismissed.

Geimer in March urged the court to dismiss the criminal case against him and sentence Polanski to time served in absentia, which it has refused to do. In 2022, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in 2022 dropped its opposition to a request to unseal a former prosecutor’s testimony that Polanski has maintained will reveal judicial misconduct. District Attorney George Gascón told The Hollywood Reporter there were “some irregularities” in the case, pointing to the judge who initially oversaw the proceedings.

A ruling unsealing the testimony could potentially lead to Polanski being allowed to return to the United States without serving prison time for his underlying criminal case if it’s found that the court improperly reneged on the plea deal he allegedly struck with prosecutors for 90 days of psychiatric evaluation. He may, however, face time in prison for fleeing the country. France and Poland have refused to extradite him.

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