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IamA Samantha Geimer the victim in the 1977 Roman Polanksi rape case AMA!

Author, The Girl a Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski, I tell the truth, you might not like it but I appreciate anyone who wants to know @sjgeimer www.facebook.com/SamanthaJaneGeimer/

EDIT: Thanks for all the good questions, it was nice to air some of that stuff out. Aloha.

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Do you think that this sort of thing is common in Hollywood? Why or why not?

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yes, because it's true and we all know it is

 1660   0  

I look forward to the day when the amount of pedophilia and abuse in Hollywood is as exposed as that in the Catholic church today. It's gone on for too long.

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the world can be an ugly place, but also a beautiful place, have hope

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Do you think that this sort of thing is common in Hollywood? Why or why not?

 87   0  

I thought that the level of sexual assault everywhere was common knowledge. sorry for the cavalier reply but I just assume it's no better in hollywood now than it was in the 70s

 1991   0  

How do you feel about the statement "... Separate the art from the artist" in cases like Polanski's?

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I feel that is an individual decision. However, my opinion is that you do not throw a person's life and accomplishments away because they have committed a crime or done something you feel is heinous. His art, his employment, his achievements have nothing to do with me. They should be judged on their own merit, and we all make mistakes, should the rest of your life and contributions to society be ignored. I say no.

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To echo /u/Eats_Ass comment, I find your attitude both commendable and admirable. I'd actually like to develop more of this type of attitude myself. If you'd permit me a follow up question, how did you come to this position? Was your view more ingrained or learned over time?

Thanks for doing this AMA.

 2146   0  

I had been asked the question when Roman won his Oscar, which was directed to me as "how do you feel about his nomination". My immediate reaction was, why should I care and who am I to judge the quality of films? So it seems it was ingrained, but I have limits and use my purchase power to avoid certain things. So I think you decide that personally. But the idea of disregarding someone's accomplishments because they may be/have been a shitty person, in general runs contrary to how I see things. I don't like the idea that someone cannot be redeemed. I do have my own limits as do others. I say your limit is yours alone, you should not told what you can and cannot accept.

 679   0  

I'd be more sympathetic to Polanski and willing to consider redemption if he hadn't fled from the consequences of his actions or was willing to turn himself in to face the consequences. Being as neither of those are the case, can he really be redeemed?

 500   0  

he faced the consequences, but the judge thought he should go back on his word. you know press conferences in his chambers thought he might look bad

 511   0  

Commendable. Personally, I just refuse to put another penny in their pocket. I love Polanski's body of work, and will torrent the shit out of it. But I won't buy it.

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I am cool with that, I feel that way about alot of things too. Make your own choices.

 210   0  

Does this mean you won't fly United?

 1168   0  

Yes! I haven't bought a tabloid since the day Princess Diana died. When I go, it's all in!

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we all make mistakes

I think what he did qualifies as more than a "mistake"

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That is your opinion which is fine. But, I was there accounts of the incident have been grossly exaggerated and well as called a complete fabrication on my part. As the only other person present, I am good with, lets say a very bad mistake.

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I don't mean to belabor this line of questioning here, but I am very curious how your opinion on this matter has evolved over time. How did you feel when you were very young and how did you come to the opinion that this was "a very bad mistake"?

Thanks for doing this, btw.

 365   0  

We all do things that are wrong. Call them what you may, but we've all been unkind, dishonest, hurt someone, I think you deserve a chance to apologize and move on. Especially if you plead guilty and serve your time, I mean, what do people want from him?

 132   0  

As the only other person present, I am good with, lets say a very bad mistake.

It's only a mistake if the perpetrator regrets the crime. Do you think Polanski feels this way or does he just regret getting caught?

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at first getting caught, later his actions as he got older and had a daughter of his own

 132   0  

As the only other person present, I am good with, lets say a very bad mistake.

It's only a mistake if the perpetrator regrets the crime. Do you think Polanski feels this way or does he just regret getting caught?

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100% sure he is sorry, would not do it again and looking back feels guilt for what my family went through

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What is your advise to underage girls that are involved with an older man?

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I think it is probably unwise, but you have to take your own path. When a man is attracted to much younger women, I think it implies a lack of maturity on his part. And you may be manipulated and taken advantage of. I don't think you can tell that to someone who is already in it.

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Did you file a civil case against Polanski in the US? LA Times claims you did. If yes, did you receive a settlement payment from him?

Edit: LA Times article claiming you settled for $500,000 in 1993 with Polanski and he still hadn't paid you any money in 1996. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/10/roman-polanski-paid-samantha-geimer-601583-in-civil-settlement-of-sexual-assault.html

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Yes, I sued him, yes he paid me. I really appreciated it. I was young and had children and had paparazzi filming my home parked at the end of my drive. I was very scared, I wanted to sue them, but my attorney advised that I should take it to who was really responsible. I thought that made sense.

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Do you think think this has affected how you speak of him now?

Not asking if he bought you off, but by repairing some of the damage and helping your life, did it helpe you move forward?

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I forgave him long ago, neither of us wanted what we went through. In 1977 my mother and I were the villains, now it's him, I just have empathy for being mistreated.

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I'm glad you got your settlement.

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me too, it helped alot during a scary and difficult time

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Is there anything in particular you'd like to say?

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I would like to say investigate the judicial misconduct in this case. The integrity of our justice system should be placed above a single crime.

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So what are you up to these days? You know, outside of the shadow of Roman Polanski?

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nothing crazy, mom of 3 grown men, grandma of one baby girl (that is super awesome) I do accounting and business management for work. Live back in Hawaii now, kinda regular stuff. But if I had the opportunity, I'd advocate for young women and victims of the media's cruel use of those who have been hurt.

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Glad you have a full and rich life. Congratulations on the granddaughter!

 803   0  

Thank you very much. The good, the bad, the ugly.... and then a granddaughter after 3 boys. I'm in heaven.

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How are you enjoying being a grandmother compared to a mother? Seems like it comes with a lot of the nicer parts of being a parent, minus a lot of the worse parts. Congrats!

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Thanks, its amazing. It's been all boys til now, I hope we all do a good job with our little lady, we took her to our Women's March, raising her right

 153   0  

So very commendable. I am very impressed with your character and grace. You have my sincere admiration. Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter - I hope you have many opportunities to impart to her your strength, integrity and wisdom.

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you are grace in a tough world

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Do you think the widely reported story that roman fled because he was not going to be given a fair trial was true or just an excuse? What would you like to see happen to him at this point if it were up to you?

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I know for a fact that the Judge Rittenband lied to Roman and his attorney, the judicial misconduct that occurred is beyond belief. Any person in their right mind would have fled rather that trust a Judge engaged in such bizarre behavior and who had lied twice before. There was to be no trial, just a plea deal broken by the Judge. I would like him to be sentenced to time served, in absentia if necessary, and then get an apology from from the DAs office after they are forced to investigate and the truth sees the light of day.

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Do you make a personal effort to avoid Polanski's movies now? Do people around you do it out of respect? Hope you are well.

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No I don't, I just have crappy taste in movies I guess. I loved the fearless vampire killers and the ninth gate, hated rosemary's baby, not impressed with Chinatown and never saw the Pianist. I think his style is to dark and hopeless for me. They are only movies, alot of good people work hard to make them happen.

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You seem to have forgiven him. Was there any work you did around forgiveness? Writing? Meditations? I've had a hard timing forgiving many people in my life, but when I work on it I'm always glad to get closer to letting go. Thanks!

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you just have to remember that you are only hurting yourself by carrying anger and regret. I don't want to hurt myself, do you?

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Do you still hold any ill feelings toward him, or have you forgiven him entirely?

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No ill feelings period. We and our families have been through so much because of it. I honestly did not think it was a big deal in 1977 and was shocked to learn it was. What the courts and the media did to me, and now him, that's what's hard to forgive. I didn't have today's lens to look at what was happening then, it was a very different time to be growing up in.

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You didn't feel like it was a big deal at the time? Do you feel like it was a big deal now? Would you say that what Roman did has caused a lot of harm or pain in your life afterwards?

I saw in a lot of your other comments that the judicial case was a lot more traumatizing, which I can totally understand--one incident was private, one was very public...

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I never had the chance to experience the rape, without all the traumatic events that came after, so I'll never knwo

 179   0  

How did this happen to you? What were the circumstances that put you at risk where you, as a child, were raped by a man?

 370   0  

hollywood, modeling, not a safe thing in 1977. Didn't seem like a risk at all, but then I guess you never know where the danger can be hiding

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First off, a huge thanks for being involved in the "You Must Remember This" Manson Family podcast. It was an incredible learning experience about that whole time period and the overall vibe and mentality of the people who lived through it. I'm very happy to see how much you are enjoying your life with your family!

Since you went through so much with the media personally, are you trusting of anything your read or hear even from "reputable" new sources? Its great that you were able to move on and even forgive Polanski but I could understand if you turned out eternally frustrated with the "news" industry. I can't imagine they have ever apologized to you.

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my experience is if you don't see it hear yourself, you can't really believe it or judge. I am skeptical of everything, cause I know it can be 98% lies

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This case has always given me questions so please answer as many as you can.

  1. How did you meet?

  2. Before the incident was it at all flirtatious? Even if it was something like "I was in over my head"

  3. Did you ever think that would happen between you two at any point at all, like did he seem unstable or threatening?

  4. Have you forgiven him?

  5. Do you watch any of his acclaimed films?

  6. Does his success aggravate you?

  7. Do you currently have children, have you ever spoken about it with them?

Thanks for taking notice the time to answer some more difficult questions.

Edit: more questions as I think of them.

  1. Do you think the death of Tate had such a profound affect on him that it clouded right from wrong?

  2. Nicholson was reportedly out of town, was it something he happened to know was going on, or is he a good man that had no knowledge?

Edit 2: spelling. Question 6 "aggregate" to "aggravate"

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  1. My sister was dating a friend of his, and he met my family
  2. It was all business and modeling, by the time I realized I was in over my head it was way to late to do anything about it.
  3. No, I wasn't exactly comfortable, but I wanted to be a star so I did as I was told. I was just naive, by the time I realized he wanted to have sex, it was late, I was intoxicated, I didn't know what to do. He was never threatening or unkind.
  4. Yes
  5. Not really but only because of my taste in films, I did love the fearless vampire killers and the night gate (apparently bad taste?)
  6. No not at all, seeing him villified now as I was in 77 makes me happy for any success he has
  7. I have three adult sons, we have in our limited correspondence, wished each other happiness with our families Those weren't to hard, got some more?
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Follow up questions on these answers.

  1. No follow up.

  2. How long had you been working with him before you realized?

  3. There have been too many cases about children and sexual abuse, do you think some parents push them towards it, just wanting fame for their child?

  4. Why?

  5. No follow up.

  6. Also why?

  7. You remain in contact with Roman?

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  1. two photo shoots, knew the first one seemed not quite right. second one, it all seemed fine, until it wasn't
  2. God I hope not, that's a pretty evil way to be!
  3. I know he is sorry and even if he wasn't, it's healthier for me to forgive and not carry anger and resentment inside
  4. I don't think I see a connection to his personal life and success to me. Why should I care what he does, but seeing him take the same abuse I did from the media, I do have empathy, I always root for the underdog
  5. I could get in contact with him if I needed to, but that's about it new set
  6. I cannot imagine how his mothers death in a concentration camp and the loss of his wife Sharon must have affected him, it does not excuse him from his actions, but that type of pain, who knows how one deals with that.
  7. No he wasn't around, not that they all didn't live the same lifestyle, but Roman's actions were his own
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If I may ask, what do you mean by "living the same lifestyle"?

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partying, using drugs, having sex with woman young and younger

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even though you have forgiven him, do you think he should return and serve time in jail if the court says so, or would you rather see him remain free?

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He served the time he was promised by Judge Rittenband. He has since serve a total of over 355 days after his arrest in Switzerland. The maximum sentence would have been 365. He served what he was given and then was lied to by the Judge. I never asked anyone to put him in jail for a single day and certainly think he should never serve another day on account of a corrupt and celebrity obsessed judicial system in Los Angeles

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How did everyone find out what happened? Like did you tell your parents? How did they react?

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my sister overheard me tell a friend, then all hell broke loose. Our life was never the same

 131   0  

What can we do to stop this relentless digging up of the issue to just give you peace? I'd rather you live on happy and not have to deal with this constant emotional digging up of the bad thing that happened to you.

edit: and by what can we do, I mean as in political pressure, what judges / prosecution / mayors should we shame constantly to get this wider attention?

 327   0  

Have DA Lacey stop objecting to roman being sentenced to time served (now 355 days) and investigate the misconduct in the courts and her own office that has been going on for 40 year. This is not just me, a corrupt justice system needs to be exposed! And thanks, I am mostly all good, I get pissed once in a while, but this is my life. What can ya do right? Culprits, Judge Rittenband, Steve Cooley, David Wells, Judge Espinosa. It is really on the DAs office to stop the cover up

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Do you feel Sharon Tate's murder directly affected his ability to view the world morally? I certainly don't justify nor condone his behavior. But it must have drastically altered his life choices.

 77   0  

I really don't know him that well

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How common was it to be into the occult back then in the counter culture crowds? Do you have distaste for the whole counter culture scene and how its romanticized now?

 46   0  

I think I may have been too young to have had a grasp or knowledge of that type of thing back then

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How do you feel about rape fetishes or people with rape fetishes? Have you met or know someone that you know has this certain fetish? Would you feel uncomfortable being around someone with this even if you didn't think they would hurt you?

 105   0  

Wow! Now that's a question. I don't think I know anyone with a fetish thing, but if I do, as long as they keep it private, I say your life is your life. But depending, if I knew, a rape fetish I could not tolerate, I foot fetish maybe. I guess it depends on the person and there "interests". I don't like to judge, but I certainly do sometimes.