Director Roman Polanski has cancelled a planned visit to the ongoing Locarno Film Festival, where he was set to be honored with a lifetime achievement award according to Swiss news sources.
Polanski, who won a best director Oscar in 2003 for “The Pianist” at the 75th Academy Awards, was to have received a lifetime achievement honor, given a masterclass and presented his latest film “Venus In Fur.”
Polanski was convicted for sex offenses in the U.S in 1977. ABC News obtained transcripts of his victim Samantha Geimer’s 1977 grand jury testimony, which resulted in six charges against Polanski. They include shocking details of 13-year-old Geimer testifying that the 43-year-old Polanski plied her with champagne and part of a Quaalude before performing oral, vaginal and anal intercourse on her, despite her demands to “keep away.”
According to a past ABC.com article, former Los Angeles prosecutor who worked on the case said he believes that if people knew all the details, they would have less sympathy for Polanski.
“It’s outrageous,” David Wells, a former assistant district attorney on the case, told ABCNews.com. “This pedophile raped a 13-year-old girl. It’s still an outrageous offense. It’s a good thing he was arrested. I wish it would have happened years before.”
According to Geimer’s testimony, Polanski first met Geimer at her home Feb. 13, 1977. Geimer said the director asked her mother if he could photograph her for French Vogue. She said her mother agreed to a private photo shoot, which Geimer told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in 2003 that she believed would help further her acting career.
The director returned nearly a week later to take Geimer for the photo shoot about a block from her home. Geimer said that at the top of a hill, Polanski asked her to change shirts, which she did in front of him.
Then, she said, he asked her to pose topless, which she also did, though she said she felt uncomfortable.
Geimer testified that she did not tell her mother about the topless photographs because she had planned to tell Polanski, “I don’t want to get any more pictures taken again.”
However, when Polanski turned up at her home March 10 for a second photo session, Geimer agreed to go with him. She had planned to ask him if she could bring along a friend, but said she felt he was rushing her to go.
Polanski took pictures of Geimer at someone else’s residence before they drove to Jack Nicholson’s home. There, events took a darker turn, as Geimer said Polanski loaded her with champagne, then asked her to pose topless again.
“We did photos with me drinking champagne,” Geimer later told “GMA.” “He was friendly and then right toward the end it got a little scary, and I realized, you know, he had some other intentions, and then I knew I was not where I should be. I just didn’t quite know how to get myself out of there.”
Geimer said the other intentions became clear after Polanski offered her part of a Quaalude, which she took, then asked her to get into a Jacuzzi without her underwear. He took pictures of her in the Jacuzzi naked, before taking off his clothes and joining her in the water, she said.
Geimer said she grew uncomfortable when he grabbed her around the waist and started to move her hips around. When she hopped out of the Jacuzzi and retreated to the bathroom, she said, Polanski followed her there and she told him she wanted to go home.
“Yeah, I’ll take you home soon,” he said, according to her testimony.
“No, I have to go home now,” Geimer said she told him.
Geimer testified that Polanski persuaded her to go to the bedroom and lie down. Geimer went, she said, but she sat on the couch in the bedroom. She described Polanski sitting next to her and reaching over to kiss her. Geimer said she told him, “No, keep away” and “Come on, let’s go home.”
He ignored her, she testified, then “went down and he started performing cuddliness (sic).”
When the district attorney asked Geimer what “cuddliness” meant, she clarified, “he placed his mouth on my vagina.”
“I was ready to cry,” she said. “I was going, ‘No. Come on. Stop it.'”
Polanski Asked Girl If She Was on Pill During Rape, Victim Testified
Instead, a few minutes later, Geimer said, Polanski began having intercourse with her, while asking her if she was on the pill and when her last period was.
She testified that he then asked, “Would you like me to go in through your back?” Then, he started performing anal sex on her.
At one point, Geimer said, there was a knock on the door. The Los Angeles Times reported that the woman was actress Anjelica Huston, Nicholson’s girlfriend at the time, but Geimer testified that she did not know who the woman was who was in the house.
According to Geimer, the woman who knocked on the door said, “Roman, are you in there?”
Polanski went to the door and opened it a crack to speak to the woman. Meanwhile, Geimer testified, she put her underwear back on and started toward the door.
When asked why she didn’t say anything to the woman, Geimer said, “I was still pretty much afraid of him [Polanski].” She added that he was her only way home.
Geimer testified that Polanski closed the door before she could reach it, took off her panties and began intercourse again. When he finally let up, she said, she went to the bathroom and put on her dress again.
On her way outside to the car to wait for Polanski, she said, she again saw the woman in the house, spoke with her, but didn’t tell her what had just happened.
Geimer said she began to cry in the car, and Polanski got in about 10 minutes later and drove her home.
“All hell broke loose” when her mom found out, Geimer told “GMA.”
“My sister overheard me telling my then-boyfriend what happened on the phone after I got home. So she went in and told my mom,” Geimer said in 2003.
Polanski was arrested the next day. He claimed that the sex was consensual. Geimer said it was not and that she resisted.
Polanski, now 80, has been a fugitive from the U.S. justice system ever since, Polanski admitted that his visit to the festival could stoke “controversies.”
He released this statement:
“Dear Friends, I am sorry to inform you that having considered the extent to which my planned appearance at the Locarno Festival provokes tensions and controversies among those opposed to my visit, even as I respect their opinions, it is with a heavy heart that I must cancel my visit. I am deeply saddened to disappoint you,” Polanski wrote in a letter to the festival.
The Swiss festival described his cancellation as “a setback” and said that “the public will thereby be deprived of an important opportunity for cultural enrichment.” It added that it “continues to affirm its commitment to the principle of free and unfettered artistic expression.”