After pretending for many years that he did nothing wrong when he drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl named Samantha Gailey back in 1977, Roman Polanski has finally apologized to his victim. The apology comes towards the end of new documentary Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, which premiered at the Zurich film festival this past Tuesday. “She is a double victim: my victim, and a victim of the press,” he said to the camera. I’m not sure why it’s taken him this long to realize something so simple, but better late than never, I suppose.
Samantha, who has since taken her husband’s last name of Geimer, seems to have largely healed from the experience, and recently told Good Morning America that her and her family’s treatment by the press has hurt her far more than being raped by Roman Polanski. She also noted that just before the film came out, he sent her a personal apology for what he had put her through, saying, “I appreciated the apology, and it meant a lot to my mom.”
I’m glad that Geimer has made peace with what happened to her, but I still reserve the right to think Roman Polanski is a deeply fucked up person who should have served jail time for what he did. Let’s recap: after convincing the seventh grader’s mother to let him shoot her daughter one-on-one, he pressured that seventh grader into posing topless, gave her alcohol and a quaalude, and had oral, vaginal, and anal sex with her.
Via The Sunday Times:
Samantha Geimer, who was the teenager in question and who has called for the case against Polanski to be dropped after she reached a settlement with the director, recalled in 2003 that she began to feel uncomfortable after he asked her to lie down on a bed. “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 said in an interview.
“We were alone and I didn’t know what else would happen if I made a scene. So I was just scared, and after giving some resistance, I figured well, I guess I’ll get to come home after this.”
Then he maintained for more than thirty years that these sex acts had been consensual, and that the seventh grader was sexually experienced, so that made it okay. Can someone please explain to me how this does not make him a terrible, terrible person? Fuck you, Roman Polanski. Your victim might accept your apology, but I do not. Nobody deserves to be raped, including sexually experienced teenage girls posing topless for a famous filmmaker. A shocking number of people still don’t seem to understand this, which is yet one more reason why we still need feminism.
Related: Slutwalk NYC is this weekend. If you’d like to come protest rape culture with me and a whole bunch of other people, you can visit its website for details.