Polanski Cleared in Defamation Case Linked to 1983 Allegations

14 May 2024

    Acquittal in Defamation Case Involving Roman Polanski and Charlotte Lewis

    In a recent legal development, film director Roman Polanski was acquitted by a French court of defaming British actress Charlotte Lewis, who had brought forth allegations of rape dating back to her teenage years. The court’s decision came after a thorough examination of the case, which has been a focal point in discussions surrounding accountability and the #MeToo movement within the film industry.

    Lewis, now 56, Lewis alleged the abuse occurred in 1983 when she was 16, a time when she had ventured to Paris for a casting opportunity. The alleged incident took place at Polanski’s Paris apartment, preceding her role in his 1986 film “Pirates.” The accusation surfaced publicly in 2010, leading to a heated exchange of words and subsequent legal action for defamation after Polanski dismissed her claims as a “heinous lie” during an interview with Paris Match magazine in 2019.

    The magazine also referenced a past interview from 1999 with the News of the World, where Lewis was quoted expressing a desire to be Polanski’s mistress—a statement she has since contested for its accuracy. Polanski’s attorney, Delphine Meillet, expressed relief at the verdict, emphasizing its significance for “free speech and for defence rights.”

    Despite the court ruling, Lewis remains determined to challenge the outcome. Her resolve is echoed by the broader context of the Cannes Film Festival, which is currently underway and bracing for potential #MeToo revelations. The festival’s atmosphere is charged with anticipation as the film community continues to grapple with allegations against various industry figures.

    Polanski, known for his work on “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” has faced a complicated legacy since fleeing the United States in 1978. His guilty plea to unlawful sex with a minor has cast a shadow over his career, further darkened by additional accusations that arose in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Although never tried for these later allegations, the director has experienced difficulties in distributing his films globally. Nevertheless, he continues to find support within the acting community.

    The controversy surrounding Polanski was palpable at the 2020 Cesars, where his award for best directing led to protests and walkouts. As the legal saga continues with Lewis’s intent to appeal, the film industry watches closely, recognizing that these issues remain far from resolved.

    Film director Roman Polanski was acquitted by a French court of defaming British actress Charlotte Lewis, who accused him of raping her when she was a teenager

    Why was Polanski acquitted in Lewiss defamation case?

    Polanski was acquitted in Lewiss defamation case because the court found insufficient evidence to prove that his statements about her were false or made with malicious intent.

    Does Polanskis acquittal affect Lewiss appeal plans?

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