Roman Polanski Assaulted Samantha Geimer in 1977 — She Says She Was and Is Just Fine

"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."

Jennifer Tisdale - Author
By

Mar. 15 2024, Updated 11:16 a.m. ET

Samantha Geimer attends the premiere of the HBO documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" at the Paris Theatre on May 6, 2008
Source: Getty Images

Samantha Geimer

Content warning: This article mentions rape and sexual abuse.

In September 2009, The Guardian reported that Rosemary's Baby director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland due to a "decades-old warrant relating to the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977." He was in Switzerland to accept a lifetime achievement award from the Zurich film festival when at the request of the United States Department of Justice, Polanski was held in immigration in Zurich. The Swiss chose not to extradite Polanski, who left the country in July 2010.

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Along with the brutal murder of his wife Sharon Tate by members of the Manson family, the assault of Samantha Geimer (nee Gailey) has followed Polanski throughout his life. He confessed immediately after the incident and worked out a plea bargain that sent him to jail for 42 days. However in 1978, a judge aiming to make an example of Polanski was planning on ignoring the plea bargain. Polanski fled the country and hasn't returned since. But what of his victim? Where is Samantha Geimer now?

Roman Polanski; Protesters
Source: Getty Images

Roman Polanski; Protesters outside of Cesar Film Awards Ceremony to protest against the nominations of Roman Polanski's film 'An officer and a spy'

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Where is Samantha Geimer now? She does not consider herself a victim.

In April 2023 Geimer sat down with Polanski's wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, for an interview in Le Point magazine (translated by IndieWire). During the exchange, Seigner and Geimer shared their opinions on a wide range of topics such as how the #MeToo Movement can actually lessen women by labeling them victims. "I don’t see what’s so feminist about claiming victimhood," she said.

Inevitably the conversation turned to Geimer's assault by Polanski. What angered her more than the rape was the hypocrisy that followed. It's clear that her issues with #MeToo might stem from the fact that people who speak up about injustices now, were silent when she was attacked in 1977. "Not one of the women who, today, claim to have had a problem with Roman, took the trouble to contact me," she said. "And now, now that they have an urgent need to unpack everything? Who are they kidding?"

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Geimer believes that Polanski did his time. He paid his debt to society. What she finds particularly upsetting is the fact that despite repeatedly telling people she doesn't want Polanski to go to prison, no one will listen. "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," she told Seigner. In a world where we are told to listen to victims, why won't anyone listen to Geimer? Undoubtedly this is due to the fact that it's not the norm.

Samantha Geimer photographed on March 10, 1997 in Kilauea, Kauai, Hawaii
Source: Getty Images

Samantha Geimer in Hawaii, 1997

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Another victim alleges Polanski raped her in 1973. He could be in a Los Angeles court in 2025.

According to court documents obtained by Distractify, a victim known as Jane Doe is suing Polanski in a civil trial. Per the documents, the alleged assault happened in 1973 in Los Angeles, when Doe was a minor. They met at a party and nine months later, Polanski invited her out to dinner. Doe is claiming that Polanski knew she was underage when he asked her over and subsequently gave her two shots of tequila at his home.

They then drove to dinner at the now closed Le 15 Restaurant where Polanski provided Doe with more tequila. Upon being seated, Doe felt ill and excused herself to go to the bathroom. She then stepped outside to get some fresh air which prompted Polanski to offer to bring her back to his house. Doe said her memory was already growing fuzzy when she passed out on his bed. Some time later, she awoke to find Polanski next to her.

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When Polanski told Doe he wanted to have sex with her, she repeatedly said no. Despite her protests, he "proceeded to rape her, causing her tremendous physical and emotional pain and suffering," per the court documents. After driving Doe back to her home, she never saw him again. In subsequent court documents, Polanski denies the allegations and further denies Doe any financial damages.

Jane Doe is being represented by prominent attorney Gloria Allred who has made a name for herself in high-profile and controversial cases. In a press conference held March 12, 2024, Allred said, "Our client Jane Doe has demonstrated enormous courage in filing her lawsuit against a famous director who previously pled guilty to a sex crime against a child and then fled to Europe to escape sentencing," via The Guardian. A judge has scheduled the trial for August 2025 in Los Angeles.

Report online or in-person sexual abuse of a child or teen by calling the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 or visiting childhelp.org. Learn more about the warning signs of child abuse at RAINN.org.

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