A photo of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer taken by movie director Roman Polanski three weeks before he raped her is the cover of her memoir.
Geimer, now 50, told the Hollywood Reporter
– which called the close-up shot "haunting" – that using the photo for the cover was a way for her to reclaim her story. Photos and articles about the crime mostly focus on Polanski, and this is her expression.
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Polanski, now nearly 80, took the photo shortly before the famed filmmaker drugged and raped Geimer back in 1978 at Jack Nicholson's Santa Monica home during a modeling photo shoot, as established in court testimony.
Geimer's attorney Lawrence Silver wrote in the memoir the photo was one piece of evidence of many Polanski's legal team turned over in the 1988 civil trial against the director, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"In executing the search warrant, the police didn’t recognize the importance of a receipt/claim check from Sav-On Drugs’ photograph department," Silver wrote in the memoir. "Years later, I was told that Polanski gave his lawyer the receipt, and they secured the printed roll of film and negatives from the drug store. During the civil suit, his lawyer had to turn those photos over to me. These photographs, important both legally and historically, would likely have never been discovered if not for the civil suit."
A grand jury charged Polanski with rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under fourteen, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor. Polanski eventually pleaded guilty to a
charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
Polanski was sent to Chino State Prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation, and was released after 42 days. Although it was widely expected that he would get probation at his subsequent sentencing, the judge let it be known that he would send the director to prison.
Polanski then fled the United States and despite various attempts to extradict him, he has been living between Switzerland and France for several decades.
Through the years he has maintained the open support of many in Hollywood and in the media. Known for his critically acclaimed films "Rosemary's Baby" and "Chinatown," Polanski won a Best Director Oscar in 2003 for "The Pianist."
Polanski's wife Sharon Tate was murdered by the Charles Manson gang in 1969.
Geimer, 50, told the Associated Press last October that the memoir was a liberating experience, after staying silent.
"I am more than 'Sex Victim Girl,' a tag the media pinned on me," Geimer said. "My friends in junior high, scolded by their parents to stay away from that girl, also labeled me. I offer my story now without rage, but with purpose — to share a tale that in its detail will reclaim my identity. I have been dogged by tired thinking and easy tags nearly my entire life."
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