Filmmaker Roman Polanski, who has dual (French-Polish) citizenship, is back in Poland. The Rosemary’s Baby director returns to the country after a top court rejected a US extradition request last year. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Polanski had long been sought by US authorities after fleeing the country in the 1970s following a conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.
Polanski, however, has returned to the country in order to make a documentary on his childhood with his longtime friend, photographer Ryszard Horowitz. Polanski was nine years old when he met Horowitz, then aged three, in a Jewish ghetto in the city. Horowitz, now 78, is reportedly one of the youngest survivors of the Holocaust, and his story was told by Steven Spielberg in the Oscar-winning movie, Schindler’s List.
Speaking about the film, producer Anna Kokoszka-Romer tells THR: “Our main characters entrusted us with their incredibly personal memories. They have so many stories to tell, sometimes it’s really hard for us to keep up.”
In the wake of Polanski filming a documentary on his life, a fifth woman has alleged that she was abused by the filmmaker when she was 10 years old. According to the Mercury News, Marianne Barnard, a Santa Barbara-based artist, launched a petition demanding that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revoke Polanaksi’s membership, something that recently happened to producer Harvey Weinstein.
In a statement on her petition, which has thus far gathered nearly 5,400 signatures, Barnard said: “When I was 10 years old, Roman Polanski took photos of me naked in a fur coat on a beach in Malibu. The sexual abuse continued from there.”
Polanski, now 83 years old, has been accused of abuse several times in the past. In 1977, he was arrested for the sexual assault of 13-year-old Samantha Gailey, who was modeling for Polanski during a Vogue magazine photo shoot around the pool. Polanski was indicted on six counts of criminal behaviour, including rape. He pleaded guilty to the charge of “unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor,” and was ordered to undergo 90 days of psychiatric evaluation.
He faced sex crime allegations again in 2010, when the British actor Charlotte Lewis claimed the director “forced himself” upon her just after her 16th birthday.
Earlier this month, a German actress, Renate Langer, accused the filmmaker of raping her at a house in Switzerland, in February 1972. She was 15 then.
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