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French Actress Valentine Monnier Accuses Roman Polanski Of Raping Her In 1975

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Who Is Valentine Monnier? New Details On Actress Accusing Roman Polanski Of 1975 Rape

In the pantheon of famous, talented men who have done terrible things but retained a Hollywood career, Roman Polanski holds a special place. Polanksi has spent the past forty years as a fugitive from justice, living abroad to avoid being imprisoned for the 1977 rape of a 13-year-old girl. Unlike other accused Hollywood rapists like Woody Allen or Harvey Weinstein who maintain their innocence, Polanksi admitted to at least partial guilt, agreeing to plead guilty to sex with a minor. 

Despite living in exile from the U.S., Polanski has continued to have a successful career as a director in Europe. His films have been accepted to prestigious festivals such as Cannes and Venice and no shortage of well-respected professionals will work with him, even as additional stories about him committing sexual assault have surfaced over the years.

Now, French actress Valentine Monnier says that Polanski raped her in 1975. She makes the claim despite knowing that the crime is outside the French statute of limitations and Polanki will never face any charges for what he did to her.

Who is Valentine Monnier? Read on for all the details. 

1. Who is Roman Polanski?

Roman Polanski is widely considered a genius film director and he has a long list of iconic titles on his resume. He directed Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby, The Pianist and Carnage and has continued to direct. His most recent film J'Accuse is being released this month.

He was born in Paris in 1933 but his Jewish parents returned to their native Poland with him just a few years before the Nazi occupation. They were sent to the Krakow ghetto and his parents were ultimately captured by Nazis. His father was sent to the Mauthausen-Gusen death camp in Austria, where he survived the war, but his mother went to Auschwitz where she died. Polanksi escaped the ghetto and survived World War II by wandering the countryside pretending to be Catholic.  

After the war, he studied film and started making movies in Poland in the 1950s. He moved to France to continue his directing career and eventually moved to the United States in 1968. 

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2. Death of Sharon Tate

After beginning a successful Hollywood career, Polanski briefly returned to France to mourn the death of his pregnant wife Sharon Tate. Tate, along with four others, was murdered by the members of Charles Manson's cult. According to his memoir, Polanski regarded his marriage to Tate as the best years of his life and claims that her murder was the biggest watershed moment in his career. After the eventual trial and conviction of the Mason family, he did not make another U.S. film until 1974's Chinatown

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3. First rape allegations

In 1977, Polanski hired 13-year-old Samatha Gailey as a model for a Vogue photoshoot that he was directing. After the shoot ended, Gailey accused Polanski of drugging and raping her. He was arrested and charged with six counts including rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor. In an effort to avoid prison, Polanski agreed to a plea bargain where he pled guilty to sex with a minor and would be sentenced to probation and time served. At the last minute, the judge in the case decided to renege on the plea agreement and said he planned to sentence Polanski to 50 years in prison. Polanski fled the country to avoid prison and settled in France, where he was a citizen and could not be extradited back to the U.S. He has been a fugitive from justice in the U.S. ever since.

Polanksi has been dogged by accusations of rape for years.

4. Years in Europe

Despite being an admitted predator, Polanski has continued to make movies since leaving the U.S. Far from being a pariah in the film industry, major Hollywood stars like Adrien Brody, Jodie Foster, and Ben Kingsley have worked with him on his films.  You just have look at his IMDB page to see that a rape charge doesn't actually ruin a man's life if enough people think he makes good movies. He did lose his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that hands out Oscars. They changed their code of conduct in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein situation and Polanski and Bill Cosby lost their memberships in 2018. 

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5. Additional charges of assault

In the years since Polanski admitted to abusing Samatha Gailey, other women have said he raped them as well. In 2010, British actress Charlotte Lewis says Polanski forced himself on her in an audition when she was 17.  In 2017, In October 2017, a woman named Renate Langer claimed Polanski raped her in Gstaad in 1972 when she was 15. Also in 2017, Marianne Barnard accused Polanski of having assaulted her in 1975. Barnard was only 10 at the time of the alleged assault. Polanski denies these charges. 

6. Valentine Monneir's story

Now yet another woman in coming forward her story of being raped by Roman Polanski. Like all the other accusers, Valentine Monnier was only a teenager at the time. The actress claims she was skiing with a group of friends and Polanksi was part of the group, She did not know him personally but agreed to follow him when he asked her to come upstairs in the chalet they were renting. When she got to his room, he was already naked. He proceeded to attack her, hitting her, ripping off her clothes and raping her, she claims. She also said he tried to force a pill down her throat. She says she was terrified that he would kill her to avoid being found out. “I told myself: It’s Roman Polanski, he can’t risk this being known, so he’ll have to kill me,” she recalled to Le Parisien. Variety reports that the magazine was able to corroborate her story, finding people she had shared the incident with at the time. 

The new accusations are from 1975.

7. Polanski denies it all

Polanski wouldn't face any consequences for this assault since France has a 20-year statute of limitations on the prosecution of rape. But he is still denying that it happened. A lawyer for the director told the Le Parisien that the filmmaker strongly denies the allegations. The lawyer was especially outraged that such news would drop just before the release of Polanski’s latest film. An Officer And A Spy (J'Accuse) comes out this month. 

Monnier says she only wanted to speak up in order to make sure the world knows about Roman Polanski. “I denounce this crime knowing that there can’t be any punishment, in an attempt to end exceptions, impunity. Public figures are being considered as models. By idolizing the guilty ones, we prevent people from realizing the serious consequences of their acts,” said Monnier.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.