Roman Polanski: Skinflint


Court records released by a Los Angeles court reveal that in 1988, Roman Polanski was sued for damages by Samantha Geimer, whom he had admitted to engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with when she was 13 in 1977.   In 1993, the case was successful and he was ordered to pay $500,000 (£313,000).

As of the latest relevant court records, filed in 1996, Polanski had yet to pay the sum; now valued at $604,000 (£378,000), including interest.  When asked about this, Polanski’s attorney, David Finkle, reportedly described it as “ancient”.  At least 13 years old, it is coincidentially the same age as Geimer was when Polanski plied her with ludes and alcohol, before committing statutory rape.

In other news, a bunch of clowns protest against the arrest of John Wayne Gacy.


3 Responses to “Roman Polanski: Skinflint”

  1. Tim Allon Says:

    I don’t think you need to qualify his raping her with “statutory”, as he drugged her and it was against her will. Paedophile rapist sounds more appropriate than statutory rapist.

  2. SoCal Says:

    He was charged with serious crimes, including forcible rape, sodomy, etc. The fact that she was under 14 is grounds for a felony conviction, in California.

    Ultimately, he was given a light plea – statutory rape. Maybe it was because he was famous, and maybe it was because everyone felt sorry for him, due to his wife’s infamous murder. Probably both.
    Of course, in the 1970s, sentencing in California was a Queen of Hearts sort of affair, where little made sense. Polanski could have served as much as 50 years in prison, but the ultimate dispute came down to 42 days or 90 days. (The psychological evaluation at the prison was supposed to last 90 days, but was finished in 42, for some reason.)
    (From CNN: “But the original judge in the case, who is now dead, first sent the director to maximum-security prison for 42 days while he underwent psychological testing. Then, on the eve of his sentencing, the judge told attorneys he was inclined to send Polanski back to prison for another 48 days.” )

    90 days versus 50 years is a huge difference. But in the 1970s, they thought all the offenders could be “fixed” and gave out sentences such as “1 year to life in prison” on the theory that the prisoner would remain incarcerated until “fixed.” (Needless to say, more thieves did 1 year than life, under those laws.) The laws in California have become much, much stricter since then. (Interestingly, the crime rate in California has dropped from a high-point in the 1990s back down to 1960s levels, after climbing steadily through the 70s, 80s, and part of the 90s.)

    For an interesting take on the Polanski story, including excerpts of the victim’s testimony before the Grand Jury, see Steve Lopez’ piece in the Los Angeles Times:,0,4549479.column
    (the Smoking Gun has scans from the actual grand jury transcript, by the way: )

    Ultimately, the prosecutors in Los Angeles have some amount of egg on their collective faces for the undeserved leniency that was shown three decades back (in all likelihood, there are probably only a few dozen attorneys in the LADA’s office today that were even around back then, and they certainly weren’t in a position to make such foolish decisions back then.) Still, they’re trying to fix it best they can, so it’s disheartening to hear all the nonsense from the French government and the usual Hollywood pinheads about how he’s being mistreated. The only reason this has gone on this long is because he ran away back in 1978. If he hadn’t, he would have done his full 90 days in Chino and been deported, and that would have been the end of it.

    The fact that he hasn’t paid $500,000 to the girl is unsurprising. He’s one of those types that considers themselves most definitely above the law (and thus, in good company with other celebrities, politicians, etc.)

  3. efrafandays Says:

    You are, of course, both right: Geimer’s grand jury testimony leaves little doubt as to what took place. Statutory rape was a false deference to British libel laws which allowed Polanski to appear on video-link when suing Vanity Fair for alleging that he’d tried to pick up a woman at his wife’s funeral.

    Nick Cohen discusses why a self-confessed child molester was deemed to still have a reputation to defend:

    My incomplete files include the case of Roman Polanski, whom the Law Lords allowed to sue in London, even though he could not appear in person at the High Court because he had fled to France from America in 1978 to escape charges of having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. The indulgent judges allowed a fugitive from child abuse allegations to escape the indignity of being arrested and deported by the British police and said he could deliver his evidence via a video link instead. (He duly won a wad of damages.)

    In sychronicity, the rape took place at Jack Nicholson’s house. McMurphy tried the same gag with an insanity plea in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

    I had been under the impression that Polanski feared the judge at the time was on the verge of sentancing him to many years… but, as only statutory rape had been an issue after a 13 year old girl begged not to be put through the horror of a trial (which is what is being cited as her forgiving nature), I suspect this was Polanski’s self-pity speaking.

    Thankfully, the odious defence has been countered by the likes of Donald Tusk (Polish PM with a Scots name, and an elephant father) telling his foreign ministry to put a sock in it, and Luc Besson (who directed a 13 year old Natalie Portman as a Lolita-like character in Leon) telling everyone (except Polanski) to get to France.

    Disappointingly, for me, Portman also signed this revolting petition. I was highly shocked to see Pedro Almodovar, of all those women-friendly films, signing it.

    This has hammered home why I don’t take my political cues from ‘artists’.

    PS If you haven’t already, take a closer look at the signatories on the Gacy petition. Most are fictional. Most.

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