A Santa Barbara artist has accused Roman Polanski of photographing her naked and then molesting her when she was 10 years old.
Marianne Barnard told The Sun that in 1975, her mother took her to a Malibu beach, where she met Polanski. “She explained that this man wanted to take pictures of me in this fur coat. I thought it was to go into a magazine or something,” said Barnard, who thought it was just another modelling shoot.
“First he was taking pictures of me in the bikini, then it was with the coat then he said take off the bikini top, which I was comfortable with as I was only 10 and I often ran around with no top on,” she said. “But then he wanted me to take my bikini bottoms off — I started to feel very uncomfortable. Then at some point I realized my mom had gone. I don’t know where she went and I didn’t really register her leaving but she was no longer there. Then he molested me.”
A rep for Polanski did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Barnard said she has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and claustrophobia since that day 37 years ago, but the strength of the women who have spoken up about Harvey Weinstein have inspired her to speak up as well.
“Even though it puts me in a very bad — even dangerous — position with my mom and Polanski and other people who are involved, I can’t be silent anymore,” Barnard told The Sun.
She has also begun a campaign on social media called #SilenceIsTheEnemy, hoping that abuse victims will find the courage to break the silence and calling on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to boot the Oscar-winning director from the organization.
Polanski was arrested and charged with raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977. He pled guilty and was imprisoned for 42 days, after which he was released and put on probation as part of a plea bargain. When Polanski learned that the judge was planning to revoke the plea deal, the director fled Paris before sentencing.
Earlier this month, former German actress Renate Langer reported to Swiss police that Polanski raped her when she was 15. In August, a woman only referred to as Robin told reporters at a news conference in Los Angeles that she was “sexually victimized” by Polanski when she was 16 in 1973.
She said she came out now about the assault after Geimer asked authorities to close her case against Polanski.