It’s not a happy Friday for Roman Polanski. Today a new woman stepped forward claiming she was sexually victimized by the director when she was just 16-years old.
The woman is British actress Charlotte Lewis, and she’s hired Gloria Allred to represent her in the case. They held a press conference today to discuss the incident that allegedly took place in the director's Paris apartment.
"Mr. Polanski knew I was only 16 years old when he met me and forced himself upon me in his apartment in Paris," Lewis, now 42, said. "He took advantage of me, and I have lived with the effects of his behavior ever since it occurred."
While the legal age of consent is 15 in France, Allred is alleging that rape should not be contingent on a woman’s age. "I don't believe that is relevant for reasons that have to do with the particular facts that she has alleged to the LAPD and to the D.A.," Allred said. "In other words, that is not essential to the allegations."
What’s interesting about this case is not only the fact that Lewis has waited more than 25 years to come forward, but that she appeared in the Polanski-directed film Pirates four years after the alleged rape.
But Allred said, "The defense, for example, may wish to portray their client as a loving father, and a law-abiding citizen after he fled and failed to appear for his sentencing. The judge, however, can also consider credible claims of predatory conduct after Mr. Polanski fled when determining the appropriate sentence for Mr. Polanski."
"If the court believes and gives weight to Charlotte's allegations, then Mr. Polanski deserves no compassion for the commission of his original crime to which he entered a plea, and no compassion for his age or the number of years that have passed since that crime was committed.”
Lewis plans on testifying under oath if necessary. It would be odd for someone like her to make this whole thing up—do you believe her?