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Samantha Geimer, Polanski's victim, doesn't back prison time for the director

September 27, 2009 | 10:55 am


Roman Polanski's efforts to have a 30-year-old rape conviction dropped has an unlikely advocate in his victim, Samantha Geimer.

Geimer was 13 years old when Polanski allegedly plied the aspiring model with Champagne and Quaaludes and told her he was photographing her for French Vogue. The 1977 incident occurred in a bedroom in Jack Nicholson's house. Actress Anjelica Huston, who was also in the home, was a potential witness. Polanski was arrested in L.A. and pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He then fled to France.

Geimer, now a mother of four, has said repeatedly and publicly that she thinks Polanski was treated unfairly and expressed a desire for the case to be resolved without prison time.

When Polanski sought to have the rape charge dismissed in 2008, she told The Times she welcomed an opportunity finally to end the case. "It's been a long time," she said. "I don't wish for him to be held to further punishment or consequences."

In 2003, she wrote an Op/Ed piece for The Times saying the case should not be a barrier to him winning an Academy Award:

Now that he's been nominated for an Academy Award, it's all being reopened. I'm being asked: Should he be given the award? Should he be rewarded for his behavior? Should he be allowed back into the United States after fleeing 25 years ago? Here's the way I feel about it: I don't really have any hard feelings toward him, or any sympathy, either. He is a stranger to me. But I believe that Mr. Polanski and his film should be honored according to the quality of the work. What he does for a living and how good he is at it have nothing to do with me or what he did to me. I don't think it would be fair to take past events into consideration. I think that the academy members should vote for the movies they feel deserve it. Not for people they feel are popular.

Polanski ended up winning best director for "The Pianist."

She could not immediately be reached for comment on the director's arrest in Zurich. He's in Swiss police custody awaiting extradition to Los Angeles after being arrested there in connection with the rape case.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: 2008 file photo, Peter Kramer / Associated Press