Roman Polanski’s name is in the news again. At the Cannes Film Festival another petition on Polanski’s behalf is being circulated by Bernard-Henri Levy, and directors like Jean-Luc Godard, Olivier Assayas as well as Agnes Varda have all signed.
Another one of his defenders is Woody Allen. You know you’re in trouble when the person standing up for you is Woody Allen.
Props to Michael Douglas for refusing to sign and for saying so publicly. People are not clamoring onto the petition especially now that another woman, actress Charlotte Lewis, has come forward and accused Polanski of assaulting her when she was 16 and auditioning for his film Pirates.
The yuck factor has just gone up exponentially.
Lewis, 42, best known for being in The Golden Child in the 80s opposite Eddie Murphy held a press conference in LA on Friday and talked about her assault.
Here’s what she said to The Daily Mail about why she waited until now to open up about the allegations:
‘I know I should have gone to the relevant authorities at the time but I was scared and ashamed. I somehow thought it was my fault.
‘I’ve been so angry with some of the people in Hollywood who have spoken out in support of Polanski. Hollywood is giving the wrong message to paedophiles.
Here’s her description of the assault:
He told me he wanted me to stay the night with him and then he made a pass at me. He tried to kiss me and touch my breasts. I pulled away and told him that I had a boyfriend, which wasn’t true. It was an excuse, but he didn’t care.‘He just said very coldly, “If you’re not a big enough girl to have sex with me, you’re not big enough to do the screen test. I must sleep with every actress that I work with, that’s how I get to know them, how I mould (mold?) them.
Talk about the casting couch.
But she did return that evening and acquiesced because she needed the job.
‘I never told my mother what had happened,’ she said. ‘I was just too ashamed. I needed to do this movie, the money was good – I was being paid £1,200 a month. My mother and I were living in housing association accommodation and this was a life-changing amount of money.’
Life changing amount of money. He knew it. He held that over her head. She was a kid. Never should have been in this position. Where was her mom? People knew this guy had a problem with young women. He never should have been able to be alone with them. Everyone should have known better. Shit, he was on the run from the law. People knew that.
But it’s not her fault. It’s his fault. He abused his position as a director yet everyone looked the other way.
So now there are two. Who doubts there are more?
‘I will never forgive Polanski. I’m telling the truth and Roman knows it’: Actress Charlotte Lewis claims she was abused by director when she was 16 (Daily Mail)
Roman Polanski petition circulating at Cannes (Hollywood Reporter)