×

Roman Polanski Denies Rape Allegation by Valentine Monnier

Responding to French actress Valentine Monnier’s accusation of rape, a lawyer for Roman Polanski has issued a statement saying that the filmmaker denied the allegations and was considering suing the newspaper that published Monnier’s story.

In an article in Le Parisien on Friday, Monnier alleged that Polanski raped her violently at a ski chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, in 1975. The allegation cannot result in any criminal charges because Switzerland’s 20-year statute of limitations has passed.

In a statement issued to Agence-France Presse on Sunday, Polanski’s French attorney, Hervé Témime, said that the filmmaker “most firmly contests the accusation of rape….We are considering taking legal action against this publication.” Témime said Polanski “will not participate in the media trial, and me neither.”

The lawyer added that the allegation “concerns facts that are 45 years old. Never has this accusation been brought to Polanski’s knowledge, and neither to a judicial institution, except for a letter sent to the California prosecutor two years ago, according to Le Parisien.” Témime said that “it’s impossible after so much time to gather all the necessary elements to conduct a [proper] investigation.”

Polanski has been living in exile in France since fleeing the U.S. in 1978, before he could be sentenced after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Numerous efforts over the years to resolve the case with Los Angeles prosecutors have gone nowhere, as Polanski has refused to return and submit to U.S. jurisdiction.

Popular on Variety

In spite of the controversy that has surrounded Polanski for the past decades, he was able to get his new film, “An Officer and a Spy” (“J’accuse”), financed mainly out of France with a budget of $21 million, making it one of the country’s most ambitious films this year. But the new allegation by Monnier has cast cloud over the film’s imminent release in France on Wednesday on more than 500 screens. On Sunday, the movie’s leading actor, Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin, canceled an appearance on a primetime newscast to promote the film.

On the critical front, “An Officer and a Spy” has been applauded. It world premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize, and has just garnered four European Film Awards nominations. “An Officer and a Spy” has also been bought by distributors in several territories.

More Film

  • Olympic Champion Biopic 'Zátopek' Wraps

    David Ondříček’s Olympic Champion Biopic 'Zátopek' Wraps (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Ondříček’s “Zátopek,” a biopic about Olympic champion athlete Emil Zátopek, has wrapped filming. The film stars Václav Neužil, Martha Issová and James Frecheville, who starred in Sundance prize-winner “Animal Kingdom.” Ondříček, one of the most successful Czech directors working today, was selected by Variety magazine for its “10 Directors to Watch” list. His TV [...]

  • Tilda Swinton Leads Marrakech Tribute to

    Tilda Swinton Leads Marrakech Tribute to Australian Cinema

    Travelling 10,000 miles – from Australia to Morocco – may sound like a long trek just to receive a tribute, but that was the distance travelled by most of the members of Australia’s 22-person delegation of actors, directors and producers to attend the Marrakech Film Festival’s country tribute. Notwithstanding the radical differences between Morocco and [...]

  • Better-Days

    Macao: Hot Bets, Short Odds And Sure Things in the 2019 IFFAM Program

    Macao may be renowned for gambling, but the 4th International Film Festival & Awards of Macao (IFFAM) features more than a few sure bets. Oscar-watchers should look out for Taika Waititi’s opening film “Jojo Rabbit”; Rupert Goold’s biopic of Judy Garland, “Judy,” which looks likely to land Renée Zellweger a best actress nomination; and Terrence [...]

  • Yao Chen in “Send Me to

    'Clouds' Director Teng Congcong on Being a Conservative Chinese Feminist

    As hot money flees the China film market and financing dries up, the romantic film genre will actually become more attractive for investors, assesses Teng Congcong, director of the recent Chinese romantic drama “Send Me To the Clouds.” “Things used to be moving in the direction of big budget blockbusters, but the financing that’s leftover [...]

  • I'm Livin' It

    Films From Macau and China Take the IFFAM Spotlight

    The fourth edition of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), which opened last night (December 5) at the Macao Cultural Center, is positioned as one of the key events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the handover of the former Portuguese colony to the People’s Republic of China. Five Macanese features are among the [...]

  • Grand Isle

    Film Review: 'Grand Isle'

    A sub-Tennessee Williams potboiler triangle between restless sexpot, impotent husband, and hunky handyman ever-so-slowly congeals into a lumpy gumbo of thriller elements in “Grand Isle.” This third directorial big-screen feature for veteran Steadicam operator Stephen S. Campanelli has plenty of potential guilty-pleasure signifiers — not least being top-billed Nicolas Cage’s sixth vehicle this year — [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content