Roman Polanksi accused of molesting 10-year-old girl

Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski arrives for a press conference after his trial at the regional court in Krakow on October 30, 2015. Polanski said he was "very happy" that the Polish court rejected a bid to extradite him to the United States to face sentencing for the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977. (JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Marianne Barnard, a California-based artist, has accused fugitive film director Roman Polanksi of molesting her when she was just 10 years old.

In an interview with The Sun, Barnard said that the assault occurred on a beach in Santa Barbara in 1975. Barnard’s mother took her there to meet the famed director of Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and, more recently, The Pianist.

“[S]he explained that this man wanted to take pictures of me in this fur coat,” Barnard recalled. “I thought it was to go into a magazine or something.”

At first, Barnard wore a bikini, but the photo shoot quickly took a turn, according to her allegations. “[H]e said take off the bikini top, which I was comfortable with as I was only 10 and I often ran around with no top on,” she told The Sun. “But then he wanted me to take my bikini bottoms off — I started to feel very uncomfortable. Then, at some point I realized my mom had gone. I don’t know where she went and I didn’t really register her leaving but she was no longer there. Then he molested me.”

Barnard said she has suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and claustrophobia since the alleged incident. But she was inspired to speak out in the wake of an onslaught of recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of harassing and assaulting more than 50 women.

This is not the first time that Polanski has been accused of sexual improprieties against underage girls. In 1977, the director was arrested and charged with raping a 13-year-old named Samantha Gailey. Polanksi pled guilty to sexual intercourse with a minor and spent 43 days in jail. In 1978, he fled the United States to avoid further sentencing and has been a fugitive ever since. In April of this year, an L.A. judge rejected Polanksi’s motion to resolve the case, which would have allowed him to return to the U.S. without fear of being arrested.

Earlier this month, the now 84-year-old director made a rare statement about the case. “As far as what I did: It’s over. I pleaded guilty,” he said.

Read the full story at The Sun.


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