Allegations against Roman Polanski: 40 years of silence


Allegations against Roman Polanski

In France, the #MeToo debate flares up again. Photographer Valentine Monnier accuses director Polanski of rape.

Roman Polanski, an old man with wavy gray hair

Several suspected since the 1970s, people to do sexual violence: Roman Polanski Photo: dpa

PARIS taz | After more than 40 years, photographer and ex-actress Valentine Monnier has accused world-famous film director Roman Polanski of brutally raping her in 1975 on a ski holiday in Gstaad, Switzerland, when she was 18 years old. In the French newspaper Le Parisien, the 62-year-old portrays the violence that took place after a night's shooting in Polanski's chalet. "He beat me and abused me until I gave up, then raped me."

Monnier emphasizes that she had no personal or professional relationship with Polanski, that she was only invited to ski with a friend in Gstaad. At that time she was too shocked to bring a lawsuit against the then 42-year-old filmmaker. Today, the incident has long been a criminal offense, but that is no reason for them to remain silent. "The past time does not forget anything, the rape is like a time bomb with a delay."

As a reason why she is now with her serious allegations to the public, the actor calls Polanski's latest film, which is currently in the cinemas. His name is "J'accuse" (the title of Emile Zola's famous plea in the Dreyfus affair against anti-Semitism in late 19th century France).

Especially outraged Monnier that Polanski identified on the occasion of the movie premiere with the wrongfully accused of treason accused Jewish Captain Alfred Dreyfus and feels like a victim of a witch hunt: "In an interview, he compares himself with the persecution of Dreyfus. He has been prosecuted by the American judiciary for the rape of a 13-year-old since 1977. "This has caused Monnier to turn to the media:" Is it sustainable that someone is under the pretext of a movie, under the guise of history J'accuse says? Someone who burned you, who forbade you, the victim, to accuse yourself? "

Neighbors support Monnier's statement

According to Valentine Monnier, "Le Parisien" has managed to find several witnesses who still remember very well how distraught and visibly traumatized she was when she sought refuge in neighboring chalets. A neighbor, whom the Paris editorial team calls Charles, had taken her in. "When she came to see me, she had a bruise on my cheek. She told me she had been brutally raped by Polanski. I asked her if she wanted to go to the police because she did not know what to do in the shock. She was so young and positive, and she wanted to leave that terrible experience behind. "

The film producer John Bentley, another neighbor in Gstaad, confirms to the editors of "Le Parisien" that Valentine sought protection from him: "She wanted to get away from Polanski, she was disturbed. Roman had a psychological problem with women. Many were buzzing around him in hopes of a movie role … Valentine was very beautiful, but she is not one of those guys. "

In the years that followed, she told a friend, her husband, and her brother what had happened. Polanski's scriptwriter Gerard Brach and his assistant director Hercules Bellville both died and are unable to testify. They spent the skiing holiday during which the act of violence took place, together with Polanski in his chalet.

Polanski argues indignantly about his French lawyer Herve Temine.

Every time Roman Polanski releases a new movie, the 1977 scandal has been discussed. After allegations that he had inflicted sexual violence on a drugged 13-year-old, Polanski pleaded guilty to minor offenses in the US and settled out of court with the victim's family. In order to escape a trial, Polanski fled to France, where previously all extradition requests were rejected.

Prior to Valentine Monnier, four other women publicly accused Polanski of giving them sexual violence as adolescents. Polanski, who has always denied these accusations, was never convicted.

However, the new "Polanski affair", as "Le Parisien calls it, is not to be seen only in the context of Polanski's new film. A few days before Monnier's accusations, actress Adele Haenel, also well-known in France, turned to the public and accused director Christophe Ruggia of sexually molesting her at the filming of "Les Diables" between 2001 and 2004 as a 12- to 15-year-old to have inflicted sexual violence on her. For this purpose, a criminal investigation has now been initiated. Haenel, who started a second wave of the #MeToo campaign in France, declared her solidarity with Valentine Monnier.

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