Tentative Settlement Reached In Roman Polanski’s 1973 L.A. Rape Case – Update

UPDATED, 12:12 PM: A tentative settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought by a woman who alleged that longtime fugitive Roman Polanski sexually assaulted her in the 1970s at his home after plying her with tequila there and at a restaurant, all the while knowing she was a minor.

In court papers filed Tuesday with Santa Monica Superior Court Judge H. Jay Ford III, the woman’s attorneys — she is identified only as Jane Doe — stated that a “conditional” accord has been reached with the 90-year-old Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby filmmaker and that a request for dismissal will be filed by October 14.

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No terms were revealed. Read details of the case below.

PREVIOUSLY, November 1: Roman Polanski has officially denied a woman’s accusation that the director sexually assaulted her at his home in 1973 after plying her with tequila both there and at a restaurant while knowing she was a minor at the time.

In court papers filed Oct. 20 with Santa Monica Superior Court Judge H. Jay Ford III, the 90-year-old director’s attorney cites multiple defenses, including violation of the statute of limitations, that the plaintiff’s damages are based on guesswork, speculation and conjecture and that the woman accuses Polanski of a crime, sexual battery, that did not become law until 1990.

The Oscar-winner’s attorney asks that plaintiff Jane Doe’s case be dismissed “with prejudice” – meaning it could not be refiled – and that the plaintiff “take nothing” from Polanski.

According to the suit filed June 16 and amended July 11, Doe met Polanski at a party in 1973, the year he would film Chinatown. The alleged encounter occurred four years before the director fled the U.S. after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse involving a different victim, then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer.

Geimer sued Polanski in 1988 and the case was settled out of court in 1993. In 2003, Geimer said, “Straight up, what he did to me was wrong. But I wish he would return to America so the whole ordeal can be put to rest for both of us.”

There have been other such allegations against the director. German actress Renate Langer told Swiss police that Polanski raped her in Gstaad in 1972, when she was 15. American artist Marianne Barnard accused Polanski of having sexually assaulted her in 1975, when she was 10 years old. French photographer Valentine Monnier has alleged Polanski violently raped her at a ski chalet in Gstaad in 1975, which he denied.

In the case now under consideration, Doe says that, after they met at the party, she accepted Polanski’s invitation to dinner. She met him beforehand at his Benedict Canyon home, where he gave her two shots of tequila while aware that she was underage, the suit states.

Polanski later drove the pair to dinner at Le Restaurant, located on La Cienega Boulevard, the suit states. Their table was not ready when they arrived, so they went to the bar and Polanski ordered more tequila for Doe, the suit states.

After being seated for dinner, but before they ate, Doe began experiencing dizziness from the tequila and went to the restroom feeling ill, the suit states. When she returned to the table, she told Polanski she didn’t feel well and was going outside to get fresh air, according to the suit, which further states that the director followed Doe outside and drove her back to his house.

Although Doe says she does not remember how she got from the car into Polanski’s home, she does recall him leading her to his bedroom and that she passed out on his bed, the suit states. Doe remembers awakening to find Polanski in the bed next to her and that she declined his request to have sex with her, the suit states.

Ignoring her plea of “Please don’t do this,” the suit alleges he removed her clothes and sexually assaulted her, causing her “tremendous physical and emotional pain and suffering.”

Polanski later drove Doe home and that was the last time she saw him, the suit states.

A case management conference in the lawsuit is scheduled Jan. 16.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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