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45 Years After Stay at Polanski's Chalet, a 'Time Bomb'

Former model claims 'extremely violent' rape at hands of director in 1975, when she was 18
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2019 10:15 AM CST
In this May 2, 2018, photo, director Roman Polanski appears at an international film festival in Krakow, Poland.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – A new accusation has emerged against Roman Polanski, this time from a Frenchwoman who says the film director raped her in 1975, when she was 18. The Guardian reports that former model Valentine Monnier gave her account to Le Parisien, claiming she was staying at Polanski's ski chalet with friends in Gstaad, Switzerland, when the attack happened. "I had no links with him, neither personal nor professional, and hardly knew him," she says. Deadline details what happened next, in Monnier's words: She says that after a day of skiing and dinner at a restaurant, she went to a room to change. "Life hadn't taught me how to be suspicious yet," she says, noting that Polanski then called for her. She found him naked, she says, and he then jumped on her, "pummeled me," ripped her clothes off, tried to force her to swallow a pill of some sort, then raped her, "making me do all sorts of things."

She says the rape was "extremely violent." Variety points out the statute of limitations for rape is 20 years in France, meaning Polanski couldn't be prosecuted there for this alleged crime. But Monnier says she was prompted to speak out more than four decades later because of the Me Too movement and the fact that Polanski has a new movie coming out next week that's garnered critical praise. "Rape is a time bomb," she tells Le Parisien, noting she's written letters to the Los Angeles Police Department and French first lady Brigitte Macron about her accusation. "The memory does not fade. It becomes a ghost and it follows you, and it changes you insidiously." A lawyer for Polanski says the director "firmly denies all accusations of rape" and that the allegations "which date back 45 years have never been reported to judicial authorities." (Read more Roman Polanski stories.)

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