French film actress Valentine Monnier has accused Oscar winning director Roman Polanski of raping her when she was 18 in a ski chalet.
Ms. Monnier waived her right to anonymity so as to describe the alleged horrific ordeal just as Polanski, 86, launches a new movie called ‘I accuse’.
She told how she feared being murdered by the film director after he ‘violently raped’ her in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Polanski is still wanted in America after pleading guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old schoolgirl in 1977 and then fleeing the country.
In a detailed victim statement released through the Parisien newspaper, Ms. Monnier said she now wanted to accuse Polanski of attacking her in a ski chalet in early 1975.
Responding to the claims, a lawyer for the director said: ‘Roman Polanski firmly denies all accusations of rape.’
Ms. Monnier, who is now 62, said: ‘In 1975 I was raped by Roman Polanski. I had no link with him, neither personnel, nor professional, and I hardly knew him.
‘It happened extremely violently, after we got back to his chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, from skiing.
‘He hit me, beat me until I surrendered, and then raped me and put me through all kinds of vicissitudes. I had just turned 18’.
Ms. Monnier, who now lives in New York, said she was finally speaking out after 44 years because of Polanski’s hypocrisy.
The French-Polish director, who made his name with films such as ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, ‘Chinatown’ and ‘The Pianist’, has just made ‘J’accuse’ (‘I accuse’) about Alfred Dreyfus, the Jewish officer convicted and imprisoned on false evidence at the end of the 19th Century.
Dreyfus was accused of smuggling French Army secrets to the Germans in a notorious case of anti-Semitism, before finally being cleared.
Ms. Monnier said she was disgusted at the way Polanski was using the plot of ‘J’accuse’ to allegedly mirror his own case in the USA. He plead guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old schoolgirl and then fled the country.
She said: ‘Is it tenable, under the pretext of a film, under the cover of history, to hear the person who has marked you for life to say “I accuse”, while preventing you – the victim – to accuse him?’
Describing the crime of rape as a ‘time bomb’, Ms. Monnier said the ‘traumatic memory’ of what father-of-two Polanski did to her would never go away.
She felt guilty about what happened for decades and was too scared to go to the authorities.
Polanski had also apologised to her in floods of tears, while other guests in the chalet also encouraged her to remain silent.
Because of the 20-year statute of limitations in France, Polanski cannot be prosecuted for a crime that allegedly took place in 1975.
Marlene Schiappa, France’s equality minister, confirmed that Polanski could not be arrested over the accusations.
Referring to Switzerland – where Ms. Monnier was allegedly raped – Ms. Schiappa said: ‘I cannot intervene in legal proceedings in another country. Nevertheless, I wish to express my full support for your courageous approach.’
Ms. Monnier said she was invited on the 1975 trip to the Alps by a girlfriend who knew Polanski, and that she found herself alone on a ski lift with the director when he used coarse language to ask her: ‘Do you want to have sex?’
She said no, but that night Polanski arrived in her room naked and tore off her clothes before raping her.
‘I was completely shocked,’ said Ms. Monnier. ‘I weighed 50 kilos [7.8 stone] – Polanski was small but muscular and, at 42, in the prime of life. He got the upper hand in two minutes.’
Ms. Monnier explained: ‘I said to myself – it’s Roman Polanski, he cannot take the risk of this becoming knows, so he will have to kill me.’
Ms. Monnier said she later recounted her ordeal to a few close friends and family, including her husband in 1993.
Source: Daily Mail