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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 February, 2003, 11:34 GMT
Polanski victim urges focus
Roman Polanski
Polanksi fled the US 25 years ago
A woman who was victim of unlawful sex with director Roman Polanski when she was 13 has called for his film to be judged on merit at the Oscars in March.

Polanski admitted unlawful sex with Samantha Geimer at the home of actor Jack Nicholson in 1977, but fled the US before he was sentenced.

The director expects to be arrested if he ever goes back there.

His film The Pianist has won two Baftas and is up for seven awards at the Academy Awards but there is concern that his past will affect his chances of winning.

Ms Geimer has written to the Los Angeles Times asking that Polanski's work be judged on merit and not on his past misdeeds.

She said the scandal had resurfaced since the Oscar race began but added that she was now happily married with three children.

The Pianist
The Pianist won best film and best director at the Bafta ceremony
"It was not consensual sex by any means. I said no, repeatedly, but he wouldn't take no for an answer.

"I was alone and I didn't know what to do. It was scary and, looking back, very creepy,"

But she said she had no hard feelings against him for the incident, saying he is a "stranger" to her and that the Oscars should not be a popularity contest.

"I believe that Mr Polanski and his film should be honoured according to the quality of the work.

"What he does for a living and how good he is at it have nothing to do with me or what he did to me."

Polanski entered into a plea bargain with the prosecution in 1977 that would have seen him sentenced to time already served.

Forced to flee

But at the last minute the judge dismissed the plea bargain, leaving Polanski facing a possible 50-year jail sentence.

As well as avoiding the US, Polanski has also avoided entering the UK for fear of being extradited.

He did not attend Sunday's Bafta ceremony in London and his best film and best director awards were collected by The Pianist actor Adrien Brody.

The film is about the Warsaw ghetto in World War II and how it was affected by the Holocaust.

Ms Geimer wrote that Polanski should be allowed to return to the US.

"He never should have been put in the position that led him to flee," She said.

"He should have received a sentence of time served 25 years ago, just as we all agreed," she said.




SEE ALSO:
Polanski takes top Baftas
23 Feb 03 |  Entertainment
Roman Polanski: Film's dark prince
11 Feb 03 |  Entertainment
How playing The Pianist took its toll
24 Jan 03 |  Entertainment


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