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The Peculiar Affair of Roman Polanski


loz

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I have never really been clued up about the facts of the Polanski child sex case other than the fact he did have sex with a 13 year old girl, pleaded guilty to it and then fled America before he could be punished.

Given those fairly rudimentary facts I have always found it puzzling how he has been allowed by the public at large to build a reputation as a film director whilst avoiding the levels of scorn and contempt that other people convicted of sex with a minor have had to 'endure'.

Now that he has finally been arrested we have some resonably big film names expressing their dismay at his arrest and demanding his release. Meanwhile the Swiss media have turned on their authoritied for finally cooperating with the US in their attempts to bring Polanski to justice.

So pray tell what am I missing here?

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I have never really been clued up about the facts of the Polanski child sex case other than the fact he did have sex with a 13 year old girl, pleaded guilty to it and then fled America before he could be punished.

Given those fairly rudimentary facts I have always found it puzzling how he has been allowed by the public at large to build a reputation as a film director whilst avoiding the levels of scorn and contempt that other people convicted of sex with a minor have had to 'endure'.

Now that he has finally been arrested we have some resonably big film names expressing their dismay at his arrest and demanding his release. Meanwhile the Swiss media have turned on their authoritied for finally cooperating with the US in their attempts to bring Polanski to justice.

So pray tell what am I missing here?

I think that some people who defend him thinks that

a ) it was consensual (is that the word?) and therefore it isn't that wrong.

b ) the girl looked older and said she was older so therefore it's not that bad (if you include point a).

I personally don't know all the fact about this. He pleaded guilty but I'm not sure about the rest.

Many people refuse to watch his movies because of what he did. I'm not one of them.

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I've never understood this either, Loz. Then again, I've never understood how Bill Wyman didn't get investigated when he was going out with a 14 year-old girl, or why Pete Townshend was cleared after claiming he was doing research (for what, ffs!).

And Moos, even if it was consensual, in the States having sex with a minor is 'statutory rape'.

Apart from that, you don't see it as "that wrong"??? If you think it's OK for a man to have sex with a 13 year-old girl, then you are a prize c*nt! Please tell me when you're thinking of coming over for a game or piss-up, 'cos I really want to meet up with you.

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Not sure when it was Loz, but I think it was one of the situations imilar to that in the film Raging Bull...basically caught with his pants down because a girl lied to him. Also, I think a lot of people felt sorry for Polanski for what he went through with the Charles Manson murder of his girlfriend/fiance.

Anyway, I am not excusing him for what he did, and I think that running away from the law, and then continuing to produce movies for the US was a huge slap in the face. I'mg glad he's been caught, but I also doubt anything will be done other than a fine.....one rule for the rich, one rule for the rest of us

Scott

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The 'girl lied to him' line doesn't really wash with me. A 16 year old can sometimes get away with looking 18 or 19 if she really tries bloody hard but 13 years old, I don't think so. My brothers girlfriend's eldest child is about 12 or 13 just nwo and she looks very old for her age (at least I think she does) but I still wouldn't guess anything beyond 15 or 16 at the very very most.

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Well, this is what Wikipedia says about it - doesn't sound very consensual to me!

Sex crime conviction

In 1977, Polanski, then aged 44, became embroiled in a scandal involving 13-year-old Samantha Gailey (now known as Samantha Geimer). It ultimately led to Polanski's guilty plea to the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.[31]

According to Geimer, Polanski asked Geimer's mother if he could photograph the girl for the French edition of Vogue, which Polanski had been invited to guest-edit. Her mother allowed a private photo shoot. According to Geimer in a 2003 interview, "Everything was going fine; then he asked me to change, well, in front of him." She added, "It didn't feel right, and I didn't want to go back to the second shoot."

Geimer later agreed to a second session, which took place on March 10, 1977 at the Mulholland area home of actor Jack Nicholson in Los Angeles. "We did photos with me drinking champagne," Geimer says. "Toward the end it got a little scary, and I realized he had other intentions and I knew I was not where I should be. I just didn't quite know how to get myself out of there." She recalled in a 2003 interview that she began to feel uncomfortable after he asked her to lie down on a bed, and how she attempted to resist. "I said, ‘No, no. I don’t want to go in there. No, I don’t want to do this. No!", and then I didn’t know what else to do,†she stated.[32]

Geimer testified that Polanski performed various sexual acts on her[33][34][35] after giving her a combination of champagne and quaaludes.[36] Specifically, Geimer's testimony was that Polanski kissed her, performed cunnilingus on her, penetrated her vaginally, and then penetrated her anally, each time after being told 'no' and being asked to stop. [37]

[edit] Charges and guilty plea

Polanski was initially charged[38] with rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and furnishing a controlled substance (methaqualone) to a minor. These charges were dismissed under the terms of his plea bargain, and he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.[39]

Following the plea agreement, according to the documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, the court ordered Polanski to report to a state prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation, but granted a stay of ninety days to allow him to complete his current project. Under the terms set by the court, he was permitted to travel abroad. Polanski returned to California and reported to Chino State Prison for the evaluation period, and was released after 42 days. On February 1, 1978, Polanski fled to London, where he maintained residency. A day later he traveled on to France, where he held citizenship, avoiding the risk of extradition to the U.S. by Britain. Consistent with its extradition treaty with the United States, France can refuse to extradite its own citizens. An extradition request later filed by U.S. officials was denied. The United States government could have requested that Polanski be prosecuted on the California charges by the French authorities.[40]

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I don't really want to debate the facts of the case (and certainly not based on Wikipedia!) as we are clearly not in the know. The confusion, for me, is more around why a man convincted of ths offence seems to have largely been allowed to live his life freely whilst others have been persecuted by the public at large.

The US may claim to have wanted him to return to face the music however I get the impression they haven't made that much effort either. He has finally been arrested whilst in Switzerland but the truth is he has been living on and off in Switzerland for donkeys - how hard could it have been to arrest him before? He is, after all, a convicted felon, not a suspect.

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I've never understood this either, Loz. Then again, I've never understood how Bill Wyman didn't get investigated when he was going out with a 14 year-old girl, or why Pete Townshend was cleared after claiming he was doing research (for what, ffs!).

And Moos, even if it was consensual, in the States having sex with a minor is 'statutory rape'.

Apart from that, you don't see it as "that wrong"??? If you think it's OK for a man to have sex with a 13 year-old girl, then you are a prize c*nt! Please tell me when you're thinking of coming over for a game or piss-up, 'cos I really want to meet up with you.

Try to read what I write next time. I stated that "I think that some people who defend him thinks that..." and as far as I can tell I never wrote that I defended what he did.

But maybe I wasn't clear enough for you. So here goes.

I DO NOT DEFEND HIM!!!!!!!!

I do hope you understood that sentence.

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I don't really want to debate the facts of the case (and certainly not based on Wikipedia!) as we are clearly not in the know. The confusion, for me, is more around why a man convincted of ths offence seems to have largely been allowed to live his life freely whilst others have been persecuted by the public at large.

The US may claim to have wanted him to return to face the music however I get the impression they haven't made that much effort either. He has finally been arrested whilst in Switzerland but the truth is he has been living on and off in Switzerland for donkeys - how hard could it have been to arrest him before? He is, after all, a convicted felon, not a suspect.

Exactly. I'm not sure if he applied for some form of Political Amnesty to make it hard to just swoop in and grab him.

Also, he was making money for people in Hollywood who have an incredible amount of pull. Also I think he played the "pity card" with being a victim of the Manson Family, and from his background in Eastern Europe.

Either way, and I'm certainly not going by anything written on Wikipedia, he committed a crime, confesed, and then has (as you said) been left to lead a pretty normal life without the US government really pushing for him to be trialed. Also, does anyone know what the age of consensual sex was back in those days? I'm not justifying him in anyway, just trying to imagine how a 13 year old can be viewed as an 18 year old? Either way, she told him NO, he was feeding her champagne, and I'm sure pandering to her parents about it being artistic and a possible breakthrough for her. FU**ing scumbag

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Try to read what I write next time. I stated that "I think that some people who defend him thinks that..." and as far as I can tell I never wrote that I defended what he did.

But maybe I wasn't clear enough for you. So here goes.

I DO NOT DEFEND HIM!!!!!!!!

I do hope you understood that sentence.

I was reading between the lines, which was helped by the fact that you made this comment: -

"Many people refuse to watch his movies because of what he did. I'm not one of them"

You say you don't defend him - I don't believe you. I think you're a sick c*nt and have done for some time

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I remember in the eighties/nineties they made efforts to get him extradited, but failed.

Doesn't the period for prosecution have an expiry date in the USA, i.e. 25 years?

I think if that were true it wold be negated, as he was awaiting sentencing with regards to jail time. He had plead guilty etc. Its just the American way, where they will allow someone free, before their jail term begins (see Plaxico Burress, the NFL Wide Receiver, jailed for 2 years a few months ago, who started him sentence last week).

Either way...its about time they got him. I can't believe the support he has gotten in the press. An actor defending yesterday on the news said "he has made a little mistake many many years ago". It just beggers belief.

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The 'girl lied to him' line doesn't really wash with me. A 16 year old can sometimes get away with looking 18 or 19 if she really tries bloody hard but 13 years old, I don't think so. My brothers girlfriend's eldest child is about 12 or 13 just nwo and she looks very old for her age (at least I think she does) but I still wouldn't guess anything beyond 15 or 16 at the very very most.

I'm not defending him in any way but a 13 year old girl can easily look 16+ these days. My daughter is 13 and when I see some of her school friends it is really scary. There is no way you could tell whether some of them were 13 or 16 or even 18 from the way they look.

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I'm not defending him in any way but a 13 year old girl can easily look 16+ these days. My daughter is 13 and when I see some of her school friends it is really scary. There is no way you could tell whether some of them were 13 or 16 or even 18 from the way they look.

I agree that a lot of young girls look much older than they are these days - but Polanski's offence was committed in 1977 when kids tended to look more their actual age.

Having already pleaded guilty he's really got no defence, and anybody who does defend him, such as the actor that ZLC mentioned or the author that I saw on TV the other night is almost as guilty as Polanski himself. If they truly believe that his offence was as trivial as they say, then they should be locked away too (or executed if I had my way).

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I think he should be made an example of. Why? Because the cult of celebrity is in itself an insidious plague.

Polanski was in a position of influence, was wealthy and powerful, could have had any one he chose and chose a 13 year old kid. Unforgiveable.

Worst example I can think of offhand is Freddie Mercury. This sick c**t was worshipped for his music, and for this it seems that any deviation is, if not exactly acceptable, to be made allowances for and can be swept under the carpet because of the "pleasure he brought to so many people". I'm glad to say I was never a fan but that's besides the point..

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I was reading between the lines, which was helped by the fact that you made this comment: -

"Many people refuse to watch his movies because of what he did. I'm not one of them"

You say you don't defend him - I don't believe you. I think you're a sick c*nt and have done for some time

My, my, my, Bluebeard :P

Aren't you being a tad harsh there? The fact that Moos says he doens't refuse to watch Polanski's films certainly is not on par with defending him. He's free to make that choice. Most people don't stop listening to the Stones because of Bill Wyman or to The Who because of Pete Townsend. I'm sure you do.

And calling him a sick c*nt, come on! That is totally uncalled for. You feel very strongly about sexual abuse. Most of us do, and Moos clearly stated, in caps, that he doesn't defend him. That should be good enough.

Continuing the discussion about Polanski: I read somewhere that the girl (and she IS a rape victim) prefers to let the whole thing rest. With a view to giving victims of crime a bigger voice in the proceedings, I think her opinion must be taken into consideration.

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the answer to the opening question is quite simple really, hes a celebrity. therefore he will be tried as a celebrity and anything they do wrong will be filed under "hes a star, he can do whatever he likes". The courts in countrys try and convince us there is no 2 tier judicial system which is plainly bollocks. the sick f**ker should have een locked up and shunned, yet because he was a highly regarded "high brow" director the acting community got behind him. if he had been some two bit producer of z movies he wouldnt have lasted 5 minutes

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a ) it was consensual (is that the word?) and therefore it isn't that wrong.

b ) the girl looked older and said she was older so therefore it's not that bad (if you include point a).

....some other stuff......

The 'girl lied to him' line doesn't really wash with me. A 16 year old can sometimes get away with looking 18 or 19 if she really tries bloody hard but 13 years old, I don't think so. My brothers girlfriend's eldest child is about 12 or 13 just nwo and she looks very old for her age (at least I think she does) but I still wouldn't guess anything beyond 15 or 16 at the very very most.
I agree that a lot of young girls look much older than they are these days - but Polanski's offence was committed in 1977 when kids tended to look more their actual age.

...some other stuff

I won't defend Polanski - it was rape, he pleaded guilty and deserves every punishment available to the law. However, on a matter of appearances and/or imterpretation, I have a personal story that belies some of the views expressed above.

When I was a teenage lad, a mate and I regularly went to the Saturday night dance in the local working men's club. One night we were both quite taken by two girls of about our own age, who were there with the mother of one of them. A jolly evening of dancing, brandy and babychams all round and several packets of pork scratchings followed. The club kicked out at 11pm in those days ('76 or '77-ish) As we were all walking out to the car park, the mother said that she was off to a night club, and would we mind taking the girls home? Well, obviously, we needed a huge amount of persuasion, but eventually agreed.

To cut to the chase, we got back, were invited in, me and one girl went to the front room, my mate and the other one in the back room, lights off, noises of extreme pleasure coming from the back room when, and I still do not know why, I said "by the way, how old are you?" She said "12, why?"

A rapid exit, dragging my mate out by the feet. We both would have sworn these girls were 18 or 19 at least, by the dress, makeup and attitude, and by the fact that the mother of one of them was buying booze and encouraging us both.

So, Polanski is an evil rapist and child-sodomiser, I am a lucky f**ker who nearly wasn't.

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My, my, my, Bluebeard :P

Aren't you being a tad harsh there? The fact that Moos says he doens't refuse to watch Polanski's films certainly is not on par with defending him. He's free to make that choice. Most people don't stop listening to the Stones because of Bill Wyman or to The Who because of Pete Townsend. I'm sure you do.

And calling him a sick c*nt, come on! That is totally uncalled for. You feel very strongly about sexual abuse. Most of us do, and Moos clearly stated, in caps, that he doesn't defend him. That should be good enough.

The reason I called him a sick c*nt is only partially because of this issue. He's wound me up on more than one occasion, and I have never liked his attitude. So as far as I'm concerned, it wasn't uncalled for, as I honestly believe he is a sick c*nt. Just because he stated he doesn't defend him doesn't make it true, I despise 'Moos' and have for a long long time and wouldn't trust him an inch.

If you don't like that, Val, tough. You don't know the whole story, so aren't really in a position to judge me. But then, it's not the first time you've done that, is it?

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Worst example I can think of offhand is Freddie Mercury. This sick c**t was worshipped for his music, and for this it seems that any deviation is, if not exactly acceptable, to be made allowances for and can be swept under the carpet because of the "pleasure he brought to so many people". I'm glad to say I was never a fan but that's besides the point..

What has Freddie Mercury ever been accused of? I have no recollection of him ever having sexual relations with anyone that was unwilling.

What is this deviation you speak of? Deviation from the Lofty standard?

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I confess to a certain Internet naivety which causes me not fully to understand the scathing comments about Wikipedia. I have always found her very helpful, for example when looking for answers to Loz’s Fiendish Shed End Quizzes. Being old enough to remember both the Manson murders and the Roman Polanski scandal, it seems to me the summary Wikipedia gave was fairly accurate. So I will not dispute what it is claimed Polanski did.

But the intriguing question still remains – why did the U.S. authorities choose to resurrect the affair thirty years on?

Also, I have to nail my colours to the post with Moos here – I don’t think a person’s crimes/sins etc detract in any way from his/her artistic creation. Would Michelangelo’s Pieta be any less beautiful if we discovered he had indulged in perverted sex? Would it detract from our admiration of Shakespeare’s talent if we discovered he’d sodomised a goat?

All in all, I do agree also with Val – if the girl/woman/victim does not want the affair resurrected, then perhaps it shouldn’t be. Does she have the right to have her opinion heard, or has she no right to be left in peace and privacy?

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