Polanski's victim says she wants case resolved
Samantha Geimer: 'I got over it a long time ago'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The woman with whom award-winning director Roman Polanski is accused of having sex when she was 13 years old said Monday that she wants the case resolved so she can get on with her life without any more publicity.
Samantha Geimer appeared with her attorney, Lawrence Silver, on CNN's "Larry King Live."
"Frankly, the phone is quiet for years, and then when something happens to Polanski, her and my phones ring," Silver said. "If we could get the matter resolved, then people would pay attention to other things and not pay attention to this matter."
Those phones started ringing again after Polanski was nominated for an Academy Award in the best director category for his film "The Pianist," the story of one man's survival in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II.
That prompted Geimer to write an opinion article for the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, saying his film should be honored for the "quality of the work" and should not be judged by "what he did to me."
She detailed for King what led to the charges against Polanski in 1977 and the end of her aspirations to become an actress.
Allegation of abuse
Geimer said her mother had given Polanski permission to photograph her for a fashion magazine. She said she drank champagne that Polanski gave her during the photo shoot but became uncomfortable when he asked her to lie down in a dark bedroom.
"I said 'no.' I didn't fight him off," she said. "I said, like, '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. 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."
She didn't tell her mother what happened, only her boyfriend. Her sister overheard that telephone conversation and told her mother, who called police, she said.
Polanski was charged with rape and five other felonies in 1977 after being accused of having sex with Geimer at the home of Jack Nicholson while the actor was away. Polanski pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, for which he was to be sentenced to time served.
But, Silver said, the judge reneged on the deal, saying he was under a lot of pressure and was worried that Polanski might leave the country.
Geimer said she was caught in a merciless legal machine and was forced to tell the details to police and then to a grand jury.
"I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to talk to anyone or tell anyone. I just felt forced to continually tell this story," she said. "I was so angry about it. It was like -- wasn't what happened bad enough, now we got to go through every single day of my life."
The trauma of the legal process persuaded Silver and the girl's family to seek the plea agreement, the attorney said.
"If I had to give up her pound of flesh to get his pound of flesh, that wouldn't have been a very good trade," said the lawyer.
The director, who became a French citizen before the charges, fled the United States before being sentenced, and then moved to Paris. He has lived as a fugitive since 1978.
"The case remains a matter between the court and Mr. Polanski," said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles district attorney's office. "Until he surrenders, he remains a fugitive."
Indeterminate California sentencing laws at the time mean Polanski, 69, could face anywhere from one to 50 years in prison, according to the Los Angeles district attorney's office.
Geimer said she'd like to see the matter resolved.
"I got over it a long time ago," she said. "I wasn't prepared to carry a lot of bad feelings with me and further damage my life and continue the trauma of it."
She said the publicity and resulting distaste for the business of show business ended her aspirations of becoming an actress.
Polanski's success and tragedy
Polanski has been nominated for Oscars for directing "Rosemary's Baby" (1968), "Chinatown" (1974) and "Tess" (1980), an adaptation of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles," the Thomas Hardy novel about a young peasant woman whose life collapses after a wealthy older man seduces her.
In addition to the Oscar bid, Polanski received a Directors Guild nomination for "The Pianist," based on the true story of a Jewish musician hiding from Nazis in the ruins of Poland. "The Pianist" also was awarded the Cannes film festival's Palm d'Or last year.
The film received six other Oscar nominations, including best picture and best actor for star Adrien Brody.
"The Pianist" mirrors some of the French-born Polish director's real life. He escaped from Krakow's Jewish ghetto as a child and lived off the charity of strangers until reuniting with his father years later. His mother died at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
In 1969, Polanski's pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, and four guests were slain in his home by followers of Charles Manson. Polanski was away at the time.