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The Girl

A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski

Geimer, Samantha

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Girl
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In this searing memoir, the author, "the girl" at the center of the infamous Roman Polanski sexual assault case, breaks a virtual thirty-five year silence to tell her story and reflect on the events of that day and their lifelong repercussions. March 1977, Southern California. Roman Polanski drives a rented Mercedes along Mulholland Drive to Jack Nicholson's house. Sitting next to him is an aspiring actress, Samantha Geimer, recently arrived from York, Pennsylvania. She is thirteen years old. The undisputed facts of what happened in the following hours appear in the court record: Polanski spent hours taking pictures of Samantha on a deck overlooking the Hollywood Hills, on a kitchen counter, topless in a Jacuzzi. Wine and Quaaludes were consumed, balance and innocence were lost, and a young girl's life was altered forever, eternally cast as a background player in her own story. For months on end, the Polanski case dominated the media in the U.S. and abroad. But even with the extensive coverage, much about that day and the girl at the center of it all remains a mystery. Just about everyone had an opinion about the renowned director and the girl he was accused of drugging and raping. Who was the predator? Who was the prey? Was the girl an innocent victim or a cunning Lolita artfully directed by her ambitious stage mother? How could the criminal justice system have failed all the parties concerned in such a spectacular fashion? Once Polanski fled the country, what became of Samantha, the young girl forever associated with one of Hollywood's most notorious episodes? Samantha, as much as Polanski, has been a fugitive since the events of that night more than thirty years ago. Taking us far beyond the headlines, this memoir reveals a thirteen-year-old who was simultaneously wise beyond her years and yet terribly vulnerable. By telling her story in full for the first time, Samantha reclaims her identity, and indelibly proves that it is possible to move forward from victim to survivor, from confusion to certainty, from shame to strength.
Publisher: New York :, Atria Books,, [2013]
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781476716831
1476716838
Characteristics: 265 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Silver, Lawrence
Newman, Judith

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"Breaking a 35-year silence, the girl at the centre of the infamous Roman Polanski sexual assault case reflects on the events of that day and, taking readers far beyond the headlines, tells how her life was irrevocably altered by the rape and subsequent media attention." Biography and Memoir February 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/0e887225-0b8a-4fa1-a3f4-f7a1eba4ffe0?postId=0eb00fdc-2a64-4083-8ac8-384add517db0

Feb 18, 2014
  • Basileus rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Everyone knows the story of Romana Polanski and how he skipped the country to avoid going to jail for the statutory rape of a 13 year old girl. Sounds cut and dried, but not the entire truth. Polanski actually did serve jail time in a plea deal designed to spare the young girl a trial ordeal, but once he got out, the judge changed his mind and wanted to send him back for an unspecified time, and then he ran. All through this, and over the years, the young girl at the centre of the case has tried to maintain her privacy. After the recent attempt to extradite Polanski, she now decides to tell her side of the story. And it is an interesting one at that. She doesn't play victim nor presents Polanski as some predatory monster. She just tells what she did and why and never surgar-coats anything. It is an astonishingly frank account, and she doesn't spare herself. If you know the story, this book is a must read. I really enjoyed it and I am glad Samantha is doing well now.

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