A French actress accused director Roman Polanski on Friday of raping her at a ski chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, in 1975.
Valentine Monnier told Le Parisien that the director violently raped her when she was 18 years old. The publication also spoke with several people who offered corroboration, saying she had told them of the incident shortly afterward.
Monnier said she was moved to speak out now due to the release of Polanski’s latest film, “J’Accuse” (“An Officer and a Spy”), which hits theaters in France next week. The movie world premiered at the Venice Film Festival where it won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize and earned mostly positive reviews.
“Rape is a time bomb,” she told the publication. “The memory does not fade. It becomes a ghost and it follows you, and it changes you insidiously.”
Polanski has been living in exile in France since fleeing the U.S. in 1978, before he could be sentenced on a charge of raping a 13-year-old girl. Numerous efforts over the years to resolve the case with Los Angeles prosecutors have gone nowhere, as Polanski has refused to return and submit to U.S. jurisdiction.
Monnier told Le Parisien that she didn’t know Polanski personally when she agreed to go skiing at his chalet with a group of friends in the winter of 1975. After dinner one evening, she said Polanski called her upstairs. “Life had not trained me to be suspicious,” she told the paper. When she got upstairs, she said Polanski was naked. He attacked her, hit her and ripped off her clothes, before raping her, she claims.
Polanski’s French attorney, Hervé Témime, told the paper that the filmmaker strongly denies the allegations. Témime said he deplored the publication of the allegations — 44 years after the fact — on the eve of the release of Polanski’s film.
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