Roman Polanski Facing Defamation Charges By British Actress in France

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 27: Director Roman Polanski attends the
Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

In addition to being a fugitive from the U.S. for over 40 years, Rosemary’s Baby director Roman Polanski is currently facing defamation charges by British actress Charlotte Lewis, who accused him of sexual assault in the 1980s, and is now bringing him to court over a 2019 interview with Paris Match in which Polanski quoted her as saying “I was fascinated by him, and wanted to be his lover.”

Lewis denies having ever said this about him; the quote came from a British tabloid called The News of the World. On Tuesday, March 5, Polanski began trial over his statement.

ROMAN POLANSKI on location for BITTER MOON, 1992

Lewis first came forward with sexual assault allegations in 2010, saying the director had raped her in 1983 when she was a teenager. Former actress Valentine Monnier also came forward in 2019 with a similar allegation. It’s sort of unbelievable Polanski has never been incarcerated for any of his crimes, considering how many women have come forward with similar stories, especially when some were underage. In 1977, he plead guilty to one charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor (she was 13), but then he ran off to France, where he has remained ever since, denying all charges that have been lobbied against him and claiming the 13-year-old was a willing participant (uh huh, sure). France does not extradite its own citizens, so he’s unlikely to ever face real consequences.

Polanski will not be present at the trial, only his legal team.

In addition to this, Polanski is also being sued by an anonymous woman for a sexual assault that happened in 1973, when she was underage. The trial is set to begin August 4, 2025. The woman, known as “Jane Doe,” claims that Polanski got her so drunk at a party that she woke up the next morning in Polanski’s bed, which is when the assault happened. In total between 2017 and 2019, four women have accused Polanski of sexually abusing them in the 1970s, three of them having been minors at the time.

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November 2017

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