Renate Langer, a former German actress, has accused director Roman Polanski of raping her at a house in Gstaad when she was 15, the New York Times reports, making her the fourth woman to accuse Polanski of sexual assault.
According to the Times, police in Switzerland met with Langer on September 26; there is no statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases in Switzerland, but prosecution in those cases depends on the amount of time that’s passed. Langer kept her silence about her interaction with Polanski for years, keeping it from friends, family and the authorities, because she was worried about what the news would do to her parents. As her parents have both died, Langer is now comfortable speaking out.
She was met Polanski through her work at a modeling agency in Munich when she was in high school and visited him in Gstaad, with her parents’ permission. Polanski said he wanted to cast her in a film; according to Langer, he raped her and she was “unable to defend herself against him despite trying.” Some time after the alleged incident, Polanski offered her a role in Che?. Langer accepted the role, but only after he made it clear that he would “treat her professionally.” She then flew to Rome to film the movie and her interactions on set with Polanski were professional. When Langer found herself alone in a house with Polanski, she alleged that he raped her again, undeterred by the bottle of wine and bottle of perfume she threw at him in self-defense.
Polanski, who has been wanted by US police since 1977, is currently splitting his time between France and Poland, after avoiding extradition to the United States. He fled the country in 1978 on the night before he was to be sentenced for raping Samantha Geimer in 1977 and has remained in exile ever since. At the Zurich Film Festival this week, Polanski said of the rape, “As far as what I did, it’s over.”