Ex-model says Roman Polanski raped her in 1975

Roman Polanski speaks on stage after a preview of his last movie in Paris on Nov 4, 2019.
Roman Polanski speaks on stage after a preview of his last movie in Paris on Nov 4, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS • A French former model and actress has accused Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski, whose new film on the persecution of French Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus premieres this week, of raping her in a Swiss ski resort when she was a teenager.

It is the latest accusation against the 86-year-old Polish-born director, who fled the United States for France in 1978 after admitting to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl.

Ms Valentine Monnier, 62, told Le Parisien newspaper last Friday that the alleged rape occurred in 1975, when she was 18, at Polanski's chalet in Gstaad.

"I had no links with him, neither personal nor professional, and hardly knew him," she said.

Ms Monnier, a former model who worked in New York, said the alleged rape was "extremely violent".

She recounted what had happened to her that very night to two women who were also staying at the chalet: her best friend and another woman who became Polanski's girlfriend for four years. Both women were contacted by Le Parisien and confirmed Ms Monnier's version.

Ms Monnier, who acted in a few films in the 1980s, said she finally decided to speak out as Polanski's new film about a miscarriage of justice was due to come out.

 
 
 
 

Following the scandal surrounding disgraced American film producer Harvey Weinstein, Ms Monnier said she had written letters about the alleged rape to Los Angeles police and to French first lady Brigitte Macron.

Mrs Macron's office said last Saturday that she forwarded two letters written by Ms Monnier to two members of the government.

Polanski's lawyer Herve Temime said the director "firmly denies all accusations of rape", adding that the allegations, "which date back 45 years, have never been reported to the judicial authorities".

Polanski has also been accused of sexual assault by others. In 2010, British actress Charlotte Lewis accused him of "sexually abusing" her in 1983 when she was 16. Another woman, identified only as Robin, accused him in August 2017 of sexual assault when she was 16 in 1973. In September 2017, former actress Renate Langer filed a new complaint alleging she was raped by him in 1972 when she was 15.

His lawyer said all the allegations were baseless.

Polanski was accused of drugging a 13-year-old girl before raping her at film star Jack Nicholson's house in Los Angeles in 1977. He admitted to statutory rape after a number of more serious charges was dropped.

In 1978, he fled for France and has been a fugitive from the American justice system ever since despite repeated attempts to have him extradited.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2019, with the headline 'Ex-model says Polanski raped her in 1975'. Print Edition | Subscribe