I Don’t Care How Talented He Is

Right now Roman Polanski is in the news and in prison. Over 30 years ago he drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl. He left the country to avoid sentencing. He is now in custody and facing extradition to the US.

The victim’s story is that at their first meeting he took topless pictures of her. She justified them to herself because he was famous. He was probably going to use them in Europe, where topless pictures were, even at that time, used routinely in advertising. She didn’t tell her parents about the photos. At their second meeting he took more pictures, the final ones in a Jacuzzi. When he got in the Jacuzzi, she realized she was in a situation that was way over her head. She told him the steam was causing her asthma troubles and got out. He gave her half a Quaalude to ease her supposed asthma symptoms. He then had sex with her.

He has never denied that he gave the girl drugs and had sex with her. His story has been that he didn’t know she was only 13, and the sex was consensual. In an interview years ago he said that she “was not unschooled in the ways of sex.”

I’ve seen pictures of the girl taken at about the time of the incident. Even if he didn’t know she was only 13, there is no way he thought she was a grown woman.

What makes me really crazy in all of this is that people keep talking about what a talented director he is. So what? The man drugged someone in order to have sex with her. Frankly, whether she was 13 or 33, it was wrong. The man is a rapist.

The victim is not, to the best of my knowledge, speaking out now. Several years ago she contacted the authorities and asked that the charges not be pursued. She had dealt with the past and was ready to move on. Good for her. From all accounts she has truly been able to put this behind her. She no longer wants to be viewed as a victim.

Because the woman in question is now an adult who has requested that the charges be dropped, I think that’s what should be done. Roman Polanski could still face charges for fleeing the country. I’ll leave those things up to the authorities.

Here’s my point, though. Money, fame, and even talent are not free passes for despicable behavior. In the years that this girl was suffering through the pain and confusion of what had happened to her, he was living a privileged lifestyle. He has been celebrated and praised for all of these years.

Shame on him. Shame on Hollywood for putting his skills above the well-being of a young woman. Shame on us, the American public, for lining up to see his movies.

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