Samantha Geimer, who was raped in 1977 at the age of 13 by Roman Polanski, is breaking her 35-year silence to tell her side of the story in her forthcoming memoir The Girl. In an interesting legal twist, the cover of the book was actually shot by the famous director shortly before the assault.
The photograph is a portrait of a teenaged Geimer (née Gailey) that Polanski took—just a few weeks before he drugged and raped her at Jack Nicholson's home—during her first modeling session with him in which he convinced the 13-year-old to pose topless. Geimer, now 50, owns the rights to all the photos that Polanski took of her, many of which didn't even surface until she filed a civil suit in 1988 (in which she was awarded $500,000 plus interest, but had difficulty collecting from Polanski). She explains the backstory in her book.
“What happened was this…In executing the search warrant, the police didn’t recognize the importance of a receipt/claim check from Sav-On Drugs’ photograph department. Years later, I was told that Polanski gave his lawyer the receipt, and they secured the printed roll of film and negatives from the drug store. During the civil suit, his lawyer had to turn those photos over to me. These photographs, important both legally and historically, would likely have never been discovered if not for the civil suit.”
For the past 35 years, whenever the media reported on the incident, a picture of Polanski was almost always used. This time, it was important to Geimer to put her own face to the story, "with purpose—to share a tale that will reclaim my identity."
The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski will be released on September 17.