Fugitive director admits rape woman ‘double victim’

Roman Polanski has admitted a woman he raped when she was 13 was a “double victim”, in his first public signs of contrition made during a documentary that premiered at the Zurich Film Festival this week.

Andrew Hough

The 78 year-old the Oscar-winning director conceded Samantha Geimer had been left scarred by his abusive actions almost 35 years ago.

But the Polish-French film maker stopped short of making a full public apology, in the documentary Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, that premiered at the festival on Tuesday.

"She is a double victim: my victim and a victim of the press," he said near the end of Laurent Bouzereau’s film that claimed to offer his “version of the story of his life”.

In 1977, Polanski plied the teenager with champagne and drugs during a photo shoot in Los Angeles before raping her at the Hollywood home of his friend, Jack Nicholson.

He was initially charged with six felony counts, including rape and sodomy but he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor after a plea deal agreed, in part, to spare his victim the ordeal of a trial.

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Roman Polanski: fugitive director admits rape woman ‘double victim’

Director Roman Polanski receives his lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival Photo: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

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