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09.11.2019 Europe

French woman accuses Polanski of violent rape

Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann
LISTEN NOV 9, 2019

Valentine Monnier, a French former model and actress has accused film director Roman Polanski of violently raping her in a Swiss ski resort when she was a teenager in 1975. 

It is the latest accusation against 86-year-old film director Roman Polanski, who fled to France in 1978 from the US after having admitted to raping a 13-year-old girl.

Valentine Monnier told Le Parisien newspaper that the alleged rape occurred in 1975 when she was 18 at Polanski's chalet in Gstaad.

"I had no links with him, neither personal nor professional, and hardly knew him," Monnier, a former model who worked in New York, said.

She said the alleged rape was "extremely violent", adding: "He pummelled me until I gave in and then raped me, making me do all sorts of things."

LA police and France's first lady were contacted 

That very night, Monnier confided to two people: her best friend, and a man who became Monnier's boyfriend for four years.

Both were contacted by Le Parisien and confirmed Monnier's version.

Monnier said she was moved to speak out now due to the release of Polanski's latest film, An Officer and a Spy (J'Accuse), which hits theaters in France next week. The movie world premiered at the Venice Film Festival where it won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize and earned mostly positive reviews.

Following the Harvey Weinstein scandal Monnier said she had written letters about the alleged rape to Los Angeles police and to French first lady Brigitte Macron.

Polanski's lawyer Hervé Temime said the director "firmly denies all accusations of rape," adding that the allegations "which date back 45 years have never been reported to judicial authorities".

Polanski has also been accused of sexual assault by several other women.

French actress Adèle Haenel, while accusing director Christophe Ruggia of molesting her as a child, has said the Polanski was "emblematic" of the abuse that actresses face in the entertainment industry.