Valentine Monnier has accused director Roman Polanski of sexual assault.
Per Le Parisien, the French actress says the director of violently raped her in 1975 when she was only 18 years old, and this accusation was corroborated by several other sources who conferred with Le Parisien.
“In 1975, I was raped by Roman Polanski,” she wrote in a statement to the publication. “I had no connection to him, personal or professional, and barely knew him. This didn’t happen in the fracas of a party (there were no drugs, no alcohol). This was an extreme act of violence, after we went skiing at his chalet in Gstaad. He hit me, ripped off my clothes until I surrendered and made me submit to a number of unpleasant acts. I had just turned 18 years old.”
In a statement to Le Parisien, Polanski’s attorney denied all charges. “Roman Polanski strongly denies all accusation of rape. On a personal note, I can’t help but add that the alleged action took place 40 years ago. That they were never, throughout all these long years, brought to the attention of a judiciary authority or to Mr. Polanski. Under these conditions, I strongly protest the release, on the eve of the film’s release, of these accusations.”
In her statement, she questions the French title and topic of Polanski’s latest film, J’Accuse (An Officer and a Spy is the English title), which chronicles the wrongful imprisonment of French Army officer Alfred Dreyfus, accused in 1894 of being a German spy. She argues that Polanski chose to make the film to “whitewash” his own history.
“‘Separate the art and artist,’ we’ve heard in the last few years, and yet Polanski himself transposes the history that he has tried to overcome over the course of many years repeatedly into the film, pushing his own history closer to that of Dreyfus, to the point where he poses as a victim of the same fury of mendacious trials and media,” she writes. “Polanski isn’t the victim of anyone but himself and I no longer have the choice [to stay silent].”
As for why she stayed silent until now, Monnier says that she was in shock, that she felt cautious and young and was filled with a sense of powerlessness. Moreover, “France had made [Polanski] untouchable.” After spending some time in the U.S. not long after the alleged incident, Monnier says she was in denial until Polanski was arrested in Zurich in 2009 at the request of the U.S., still seeking to try him on charges of unlawful sex with a minor, and she remembered her own experience. Monnier then accuses Polanski of using history to rewrite his own with J’Accuse.
It is worthy to note that Polanski fled the United States in 1977 after he was accused of sexual assault of a minor. he has since been finding refuge in France.