Polanski Sexually Abused Me When I Was 10, Says Artist
Yet another person has accused filmmaker Roman Polanski of sexual abuse. A Californian artist said Polanski sexually assaulted her when she was 10 years old. Marianne Barnard said that he assaulted her in 1975.
The incident allegedly took place at a beach in California. Polanski had asked Marianne to pose naked. She was on the beach with her mom, who explained to her that he wanted to take pictures of her in a fur coat. She says that she thought it was for a magazine.
Later, she realised her mother was not around. Polanski asked her to take pictures in the fur coat and bikini and then asked her to pose naked. He then molested her, she says.
Marianne said that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and claustrophobia because of her experiences. She decided to come forward after she saw so many women coming forward about their own sexual harassment stories, prompted by the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
“I felt terribly conflicted that I have been silent all this time and all these women are bravely coming forward and I thought to myself I can’t in good conscience knowing what I know – and having gone through what I’ve gone through – not speak out,” Marianne said
The artist has made a report with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division sex crimes unit. She has also started a petition which asks the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to revoke the director’s membership.
Polanski has rejected all claims and says he has no knowledge of the allegations. Polanski had fled from the United States in 1978, just before he was to be sentenced for rape. In 1977, Samantha Geimer had accused the director of raping her. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. He was accused of giving her drugs and alcohol, and served 42 days in jail. He has not returned to the US since.