Sued by Charlotte Lewis who accuses him of sexual abuse, Roman Polanski tried for defamation

Actress Charlotte Lewis has filed a complaint after remarks made in Paris Match in which the director questioned the veracity of the facts of which she accuses him.

Will Roman Polanski appear soon in Paris? A defamation lawsuit has been ordered against the filmmaker following a complaint by actress Charlotte Lewis for remarks in which he questioned the veracity of the sexual abuse of which she accuses him.

An order of August 30 returns to the Paris Criminal Court the filmmaker, never tried until then in France in a file relating to these accusations of sexual abuse. In press law, referral to court is almost automatic in such a procedure and the merits of the charges are examined at the hearing.

The publishing director of Paris Match, who had published the interview in question, will also be judged in this case. In a long interview published by the weekly in December 2019, Roman Polanski said: “You see, the first quality of a good liar is an excellent memory. Charlotte Lewis is always mentioned in the list of my accusers without ever noticing these contradictions.

“It’s almost time for the hearing. We await it with envy and serenity”, welcomed Wednesday Me Benjamin Chouai, lawyer for the British actress with Me Fabrice Epstein. He had filed a complaint with civil action in March 2020.

Charlotte Lewis, 55, had acted in the film “Pirates”, directed by Roman Polanski in 1986. In 2010, she claimed in Los Angeles to have been “sexually abused” by the filmmaker in her Paris apartment in the early 1980s, when she was 16 years old.

“Dreadful Lie”

But in Paris MatchRoman Polanski compared these comments made by the actress in 2010 to an interview she had given in 1999 to the British tabloid News of the World.

The filmmaker underlined the following sentence attributed at the time to Charlotte Lewis: “I knew Roman had done something wrong in the United States, but I wanted to be his mistress… I probably wanted him more than he wanted to.”

According to Polanski, the differences in versions testified to “contradictions” and a “odious lie” from the actress. The latter, however, challenged in 2010 the veracity of the remarks of 1999 which were attributed to him. “Number of the quotes attributed to me in the article by News of the World are not accurate”she had assured.

Will Roman Polanski appear at the bar of the 17th chamber of the Paris Criminal Court? Solicited, the 89-year-old filmmaker’s lawyers, My Hervé Temime and Delphine Meillet, did not wish to comment and “reserve their explanations for the court”. The second added that she “did not know if Mr. Polanski intended to appear” or would be represented at the hearing, which could be held in 2023 or 2024.

Since the end of the 1970s, accusations of sexual abuse have regularly caught up with the life of the man who was born in Paris in 1933 and won three Oscars and a Palme d’Or at Cannes. This was the case, for example, during the presentation of the Césars 2020 in Paris. His crowning of best director for I accuse had caused the departure of the ceremony of Adèle Haenel, an image that has become one of the symbols of the fight against sexual violence and for equality in the world of cinema.

The first accusation against Roman Polanski dates back to 1977: he is accused of drugging and raping Samantha Gailey, 13 at the time, in Los Angeles. Since that date, and despite numerous procedural disputes, he is still the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by the United States and has found himself, on several occasions, under threat of extradition.

A woman, identified as “Robin”, accused him in August 2017 of sexual assault when she was 16, in 1973. In September 2017, Renate Langer, a former actress, filed a new rape complaint, claiming having been assaulted in 1972 in Gstaad (Switzerland) when she was 15 years old. In October 2017, an American artist, Marianne Barnard, also accused the director of assaulting her in 1975, when she was 10 years old. In November 2019, a Frenchwoman, Valentine Monnier, also accused him of having raped her in 1975 in Switzerland when she was 18 years old.

These charges are all time-barred and were challenged by Roman Polanski in Paris Match. He was then indignant with these words: “For years, they’ve been trying to make a monster out of me.”

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Sued by Charlotte Lewis who accuses him of sexual abuse, Roman Polanski tried for defamation