Polanski’s victim tells her side of story

Samantha Geimer’s autobiography to be published in September

Roman Polanski took the photograph of then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in February 1977, three weeks before the film director would be accused of taking her to Jack Nicholson's Hollywood home for a photo shoot, then drugging and raping her.

Polanski jumped bail in the US and resettled in Paris, where he married and started a family. An Interpol warrant for his arrest remains valid.

Geimer, now 48, chose the photograph, of a sultry adolescent beauty with full lips and pale eyes, as the cover for her autobiographical book, The Girl: a Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski, which will be published in Australia on September 17th .

The photograph was obtained by Geimer’s lawyer in a civil suit. She says using it for her book was her way of taking control of the case because, until now, pictures of Polanski invariably illustrated articles about her.


“I am more than a girl sexual victim,” Geimer writes. “I present my story without anger, but with one objective; by sharing it, to help me regain my identity.”

Polanski apologised to Geimer in a 2011 documentary. “She is twice a victim; of me and of the press,” he said.

In 2009, Geimer said she had difficulty getting over the incident. “The constant publication of articles on the subject hurts me and it hurts my husband, my three children and my mother,” she said. She wanted an end to legal proceedings against Polanski.

“I feel neither bitterness nor compassion towards him,” Geimer said in 2003. “He is a stranger to me.”

Lara Marlowe

Lara Marlowe

Lara Marlowe is an Irish Times contributor