Hollywood

Roman Polanski Defamation Case: Paris Court Acquits Filmmaker In Case Against Charlotte Lewis

A Paris court acquitted filmmaker Roman Polanski of defaming a British actress who claimed he raped her as a teenager. The court’s decision concerns the allegation of defamation, not Charlotte Lewis’ rape claim against Roman Polanski.

Roman Polanski, Charlotte Lewis
Roman Polanski, Charlotte Lewis Photo: Instagram
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A Paris court acquitted filmmaker Roman Polanski of defaming a British actress who claimed he raped her as a teenager. In 2019, he informed Paris Match magazine that Charlotte Lewis lied about being sexually raped by him four decades earlier.

Charlotte Lewis, 56, filed the action against the 90-year-old director. In March, she told the court that she had been subjected to a smear campaign that had nearly destroyed her. Charlotte Lewis told the BBC that she will appeal the judgment.

The court’s decision concerns the allegation of defamation, not Charlotte Lewis’ rape claim against Roman Polanski. The courts determined that his reaction constituted a value judgment about the plaintiff’s fickle character.

They highlighted a “significant gap between the admiration and gratitude towards the director, which she publicly expressed until 2010, and the denunciation of the violent nature of their relationship at the moment she decided to join in the condemnation against him”.

The judges stated that none of the words disputed by the actor were of a nature to impugn the plaintiff’s honour and respect.

Roman Polanski departed the United States in 1978 after admitting to having intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

Several additional women have now come forward with allegations that Roman Polanski mistreated them. He denies all allegations against him.

In 2010, Charlotte Lewis accused the director of attacking her in the worst possible way in Paris when she was 16 years old, after she had been there for a casting. She later starred in his 1986 film, 'Pirates'.

However, in an interview with Paris Match magazine, the French-born filmmaker stated it was a heinous lie. He did not attend the trial.

According to Paris Match, during the interview, he allegedly read from a 1999 piece in the now-defunct British tabloid Daily News of the World, in which Charlotte Lewis stated, “I was fascinated by him, and I wanted to be his lover.”

Charlotte Lewis has stated that the statements ascribed to her in the interview were inaccurate.

She filed a defamation suit, and the film director was prosecuted immediately under French law.

Roman Polanski, whose films include ‘Chinatown’, ‘The Pianist’, and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, has received criticism for decades since departing the United States.

He holds French and Polish citizenship and has avoided many extradition efforts by US officials.

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