The woman at the center of the never-ending Roman Polanski saga told Larry King today that she’s been harmed by the court system and the media far more than anything she endured at the hands of the director.
While she’s not a fan of Polanski, who she described as neither very likeable or nice, Geimer told the talk show host that she wishes him well and believes he’s been punished sufficiently.
Geinmer said both she and the director are being exploited by by others for ulterior motives having little to do with case, a point we’ve made repeatedly both here and in the Marina Zenovich documentary Roman Polanski Wanted and Desired, in which both Geimer and I appeared.
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley launched the latest extradition effort, which resulted in Polanski spending time in a Swiss prison and later under house arrest at his home in Gstaad, at the same time he was launching his run for the California Attorney General’s office. In the process he gained a stream of headlines as a “tough on crime” prosecutor at the time he needed them most.
Polanski, whose Chinatown remains the classic statement on corruption in California development politics, has been an unwitting star in the never-ending culture wars, abused in endless screeds written by people who have no knowledge of the case as it played out.
The oft-repeated lie, posted in thousands of blog posts and ten of thousands of comments, declares that Polanski was never tried or punished for his statutory rape of the then-13-year-old would-be actress.
In fact, as we have written repeatedly, Polanski didn’t go on trial because he pled guilty, and he served the prison term agreed by the judge, the prosecutor, Polanski’s defense attorney, and Geimer and her family.
Polanski fled the country because judge breached the canons of judicial ethics — a cause for censure and possible disbarment had his acts become known at the time — and sought advice of sentencing from “civilians” uninvolved in the case and solely because he was worried about his reputation. I know this because I was one of those he specifically asked for advice on sentencing.
And because of the illicit advice he received he decided to change the deal, even though Polanski had fulfilled it in every detail. He’d already been to prison.
It’s ironic that the folks who are clamoring for Polanski’s scalp are precisely those folks who profess compassion for rape victims — conveniently ignoring the fact that Geimer says she has been victimized more by them than by Polanski.
It was Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Laurence J. Rittenband who is the ultimate villain of the piece, a judge who breached his own oath of office and subjected a young woman to a second victimization which has proved worse than the first.
It was the Los Angeles Court system, with Cooley’s complicity, which refused to send the Swiss the records of a closed-door court session in which the judge’s misdeeds were discussed — which led that nation to reject the extradition request, making the court an ongoing participant in an injustice which has been going on for 43 years.
One of those who testified at that still-secret hearing was the prosecutor who tried the original case, and who has made no secret that he believes Polanski fulfilled the terms of his plea and that the judge acted improperly.
It’s time for this to end.