Remembering Roman Polanski


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© by Jack Cashill -

Webmaster's note: This column contains a graphic description of a crime. Reader discretion is strongly advised.

Jack Cashill is currently writing a book on California. He just happened to have this information available.

Amidst all the Democrat furor over the indecencies of former Republican Congressman Mark Foley, it might be useful to examine how the left treats its own pedophiles, especially those whose violations go well beyond the verbal.

For a telling insight on how the left thinks it might pay to take a not so excellent adventure to the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles on the night of March 23, 2003. After an unendurable three hours of smug anti-war jibes, including a memorable rant by Michael Moore, the Hollywood worthies surged to their feet to applaud Roman Polanski. There were no boos. No protests.

Polanski was the surprise winner of the best director award for the Hollywood drama, The Pianist. Polanski, however, couldn’t quite make it to the Kodak Theater that evening. It seems that 25 years earlier the widowed husband of the late Sharon Tate had driven his Mercedes to LAX and abandoned it there. He headed for the more understanding France. He has not been back since.

Days before the Oscars, Patrick Goldstein of The Los Angeles Times, the paper that had led the witch hunt against the seven falsely accused in the McMartin Preschool case, posed the question of whether “an artist's accomplishments should be judged against his misdeeds.” He used the word “misdeed” more than once to describe the act that had caused Polanski to flee. In the same article actor Warren Beatty called it a “personal mistake.” Goldstein concludes that “we” always “forgive [artists] their transgressions” because, in the end, good art trumps bad behavior.

Shortly before the Oscars someone had posted the grand jury testimony of the victim of that misdeed, Samantha Geimer, on the Internet. Hollywood wags were upset not with Polanski, but at the fact that someone was trying to “smear” him. However troubling, the testimony is worth reading, and it rings entirely true. Polanski tells much the same story in his autobiography, Roman, though he remains shocked that “I should be sent to prison, my life and career ruined, for making love.”

The quintessential Valley girl, Geimer artlessly tells of how Polanski approached her and her divorced mom about taking photos of Samantha for a fashion magazine. Impressed and reassured by his celebrity, the mom agreed. After a couple of outdoor shoots, Polanski and the girl ended up alone at Jack Nicholson’s house. Says Polanski, “I could sense a certain erotic tension between the two of us.” At the time, Polanski was a worldly 43. Geimer was a 13 year-old seventh grader.

At Nicholson’s otherwise empty house, Polanski plied Geimer with champagne and had her take her blouse off for a shot in the Jacuzzi. He then gave her a Quaalude. “Why did you take it?” asked the prosecutor. “I think I must have been pretty drunk or else I wouldn’t have,” Geimer answered. Now “kind of dizzy,” Geimer still managed to resist Polanski’s increasing demands. “I want to go home,” she told him repeatedly. He would have none of it. Finally, he cornered her on a couch, put his head in her lap, and started performing “cuddliness” on her, her word.

“I was going, ‘No come on, stop it,’ but I was afraid,” Geimer continued. Polanski then “placed his penis in [her] vagina,” but upon learning that she was not on the pill, the gentlemanly artist lifted her legs up further, “went through the anus,” and climaxed therein.

In a world where the values are as shaky as the terrain, the powerful get to shape the morality, and they shape it as they will. As Senator Kennedy and President Clinton can certainly attest, the left concedes its powerful a certain droit de seigneur. I suspect their victims would have been thrilled if the crime had stopped with an Instant Message.



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