Roman Polanski is facing fresh allegations of "sexually predatory conduct" - British actress Charlotte Lewis has accused the director of abusing her when she was a teen.
Lewis, who appeared in Polanski's 1986 film Pirates, held a news conference with attorney Gloria Allred on Friday, claiming Polanski abused her over 25 years ago in France, when she was just 16. Lewis and Allred confirmed they have met with Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney David Walgren to report the allegations.
The alleged incident came four years after Polanski fled the U.S. for France, escaping sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful sex with then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977. The Rosemary's Baby moviemaker is currently fighting extradition to America following his arrest in Zurich, Switzerland in September (09). He has been confined to his Swiss chalet as local authorities determine whether or not to grant the extradition request from Los Angeles prosecutors, who want the director to return to finally face his punishment.
Reading from a prepared statement, Lewis, now 42, said: "Polanski sexually abused me in the worst possible way when I was just 16," said Lewis, who remained composed while reading a prepared statement. "He knew [how old I was] when he met me and forced himself upon me in his apartment in Paris. He took advantage of me and I have lived with the effects of his behavior ever since it occurred. I've traveled to the U.S. at my own expense to make sure that justice is finally done and that Mr. Polanski gets what he deserves. All I want is justice."
Allred (who usually represents scorned Tiger Woods mistresses) told reporters, "If Charlotte's allegations are true, then Roman Polanski was able to abuse another child while a fugitive from justice."
A spokesperson from the District Attorney's Office would not confirm if Lewis' claims would be used for the extradition or sentencing case involving Polanski. The age of consent in France is 16, provided that no force or coercion is involved; an exception is made for adults in a position of trust.
Polanski's initial accuser, Geimer, "has begged the authorities to drop the case and let the filmmaker walk free, claiming she has forgiven him (for plying her with champagne and drugs before sodomising her fah, la la laa) and the fuss over his detention has caused further problems for her and her family. "
At a time like this, who better to jump to Polanksi's defence than Woody Allen, yay! The Examiner reports:
"In an interview with France Info radio from the Cannes Film Festival, Allen said Polanski, 76, 'was embarrassed by the whole thing', 'has suffered' and 'has paid his dues'. He said Polanski was 'an artist (therefore he can get away with anything) and is a nice person' who 'did something wrong and he paid for it'... It was not clear whether Allen was aware of the new allegations when he made the remarks. He has previously signed a petition calling for Polanski’s release. Allen himself is no stranger to scandal. His relationship with actress Mia Farrow ended in 1992 when she found out he was having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, then 22. Allen married Ms Previn in 1997."