Roman Polanski is facing a rape allegation from French Actress Valentine Monnier. Polanski, the director behind movies such as Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby, has been accused of sexually assaulting Monnier in 1975. She recently came forward with her story, deciding that she could no longer stay silent. Monnier recounted the alleged encounter in a French publication. Here’s what she had to say.
“In 1975, I was raped by Roman Polanski. I had no connection to him, personal or professional, and barely knew him. This was an extreme act of violence, after we went skiing at his chalet in Gstaad. He hit me, ripped off my clothes until I surrendered, and made me submit to a number of unpleasant acts. I had just turned 18 years old.”
This is far from the first time that Roman Polanski has been accused of sexual abuse. The filmmaker was famously charged with the rape of a 13-year-old girl. Before Polanski could be sentenced, he fled the U.S. and has been living in exile in France ever since. Yet, he still remains a prominent filmmaker, with his most recent movie An Officer and a Spy competing for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
It’s because of Polanski’s new movie that Valentine Monnier decided to speak out. An Officer and a Spy is getting ready to debut in theaters in France. Speaking further, Monnier calls into question the topic of the movie, which centers on the wrongful imprisonment of Alfred Dreyfus, a prominent French captain in the 20th-Century.
“‘Separate the art and artist,’ we’ve heard in the last few years, and yet Polanski himself transposes the history that he has tried to overcome over the course of many years repeatedly into the film, pushing his own history closer to that of Dreyfus, to the point where he poses as a victim of the same fury of mendacious trials and media. Polanski isn’t the victim of anyone but himself and I no longer have the choice [to stay silent].”
To go along with the Monnier’s account, several others corroborated her story, saying that she recounted it to them shortly after it happened. Roman Polanski hasn’t personally responded to the allegations, but he has denied them. His attorney released the following statement on behalf of Polanski.
“Roman Polanski strongly denies all accusation of rape. On a personal note, I can’t help but add that the alleged action took place 40 years ago. That they were never, throughout all these long years, brought to the attention of a judiciary authority or to Mr. Polanski. Under these conditions, I strongly protest the release, on the eve of the film’s release, of these accusations.”
The Harvey Weinstein scandal opened the floodgates for similar sexual misconduct allegations against prominent figures in Hollywood after the once-powerful mogul was accused of serious sexual abuse and abuse of power by several women. This kicked off the #MeToo movement and the formation of Time’s Up. In the two years since many victims have come forward to share stories that had not been previously revealed publically. This news was first reported by Le Parisien.